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Dietary specific antibodies in spray-dried immune plasma prevent enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli F4 (ETEC) post weaning diarrhoea in piglets

Niewold, T.A., Dijk, A.J. van, Geenen, P.L., Roodink, H., Margry, R., Meulen, J. van der
Veterinary microbiology 2007 v.124 no.3-4 pp. 362-369
swine diseases, Escherichia infections, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, diarrhea, disease prevention, piglets, immunization, antibodies, diet therapy, oral administration, weanlings, powders, blood plasma, spray drying, protective effect, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), animal growth, pathogenesis, bacterial adhesion, fimbriae
In order to establish the mechanism of spray dried plasma powder (SDPP) in improving pig health and performance, a diet containing either 8% SDPP, spray dried immune plasma powder (SDIPP), or control protein (soybean and whey) ration was fed to piglets in an experimental model of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli F4 (ETEC) post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD). SDIPP was obtained from pigs immunized with a vaccine containing ETEC fimbrial subunit F4 and heat-labile toxin (LT), and SDPP from non-immunized controls. Average daily growth (ADG) was determined, and daily samples of rectal faeces were assessed for diarrhoea (as percentage of dry matter), and ETEC excretion (in CFU/g). SDPP and SDIPP significantly (p < 0.05) reduced diarrhoea, and SDIPP significantly reduced ETEC excretion. ADG was not significantly (p > 0.05) affected. After the experiment, 30% of piglets tested F4 receptor positive (F4R+). A significant correlation between F4R status and morbidity was found. In F4R+ animals, SDIPP significantly improved diarrhoea and ADG, and decreased ETEC excretion, and SDPP significantly improved diarrhoea and ADG. Surprisingly, SDPP reduced diarrhoea in F4R+ animals without significant reduction of ETEC excretion, which is most likely related to the presence of anti-LT antibodies in SDPP. The results show that oral protection against ETEC by SDPP is attributable to spontaneous antibodies, in this case anti-LT antibodies. Furthermore, the results indicate that the combination of anti-LT and anti-F4 antibodies as in SDIPP is most effective in ETEC prevention. Finally, the F4R distribution in the herd should be taken into account to correctly assess efficacy.