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Administration of loperamide and addition of wheat bran to the diets of weaner pigs decrease the incidence of diarrhoea and enhance their gut maturation

Molist Gasa, Francesc, Ywazaki, Mauro, Gómez de Segura Ugalde, Arantza, Hermes, Rafael Gustavo, Gasa Gasó, Josep, Pérez Hernández, José Francisco
British journal of nutrition 2010 v.103 no.6 pp. 879-885
piglet feeding, organic matter, animal health, short chain fatty acids, propionic acid, wheat bran, nutrient-drug interactions, intestinal microorganisms, diarrhea, Enterobacteriaceae, antidiarrhea agents, gastrointestinal transit, crude protein, intestines, animal performance, digestible protein, chemical concentration, feeder pigs, dietary fiber, health status, microbial colonization, animal development, feed intake, acetic acid, physicochemical properties, digesta
The influence of fibre inclusion and transit time regulation on the performance, health status, microbial activity and population, physico-chemical characteristics of the hindgut digesta and intestinal morphology in early weaned pigs were examined. For these experiments, wheat bran (WB) was used as fibre source and loperamide as a drug (LOP) to increase the digesta transit time. In Expt 1, a total of 128 early weaned pigs were randomly distributed in a 2 × 2 factorial combination of WB inclusion (0 v. 40 g/kg) and LOP administration (0 v. 0·07 mg/kg body weight) during 13 d. For Expt 2, a total of twenty-four piglets were allotted to three dietary treatments for 15 d with the same basal diet (control diet) as Expt 1; a diet with 80 g/kg of WB and the combination of WB and LOP. In Expt 1, LOP improved the average daily feed intake and average daily gain of the animals (P = 0·001 and 0·007, respectively). The same result was obtained when WB was combined with LOP. The WB–LOP group also showed a higher concentration of SCFA (P = 0·013), acetic acid (P = 0·004) and propionic acid (P = 0·093). On the other hand, WB inclusion reduced the organic matter and crude protein digestibility (P = 0·001) and tended to decrease the enterobacteria population (P = 0·089). In Expt 2, WB increased the butyric acid concentration (P = 0·086). We concluded that the inclusion of WB to modify the intestinal microbiota activity combined with LOP may be beneficial to animal health and performance.