Neonatal diarrhoea in piglets is very common in farrowing units and has been a concern to vets for a number of years.
Associations between pathogenic agents (colibacilli, clostridia, enterococci, parasites...) complicate the diagnosis making laboratory analyses become essential. Against such pathology, classical vaccine solutions are limited. In most of the cases, veterinarians have to set up early preventive antibiotic strategies, but alternatives to antibiotic treatments are now necessary.
Therefore, probiotics, particularly live yeasts, are of particular interest for their action on both sows and piglets digestive ecosystem and their ability to stimulate the immune system.
At the moment, a protocol (incorporation of live yeasts in feed and peri-farrowing programme), based on modulating Actisaf Sc 47 live yeast dose rate during gestation lactation cycle in sows, is being trialled in the field, with promising results.
Field trials conducted in France have proved that the use of Actisaf Sc 47 increases litter weight at weaning by about +7.4% (between +2 to +10.8%).
In 2 farms, application of this programme respectively demonstrates:
- a decrease of mortality from 18.5 to 16.5%, in association with reduction of diarrhoea occurrence and relapses, leading to lower curative treatment needs.
- a significant decrease of diarrhoea occurrence and relapse, reducing globally curative treatment needs by 50%. In gilts, this effect achieved a reduction in the occurrence of diarrhoea of up to 80%.
Such a programme, in combination with a specific immune stimulation via autovaccines use and non-specific immune stimulation by a digestive contamination of the sows, is, in my opinion, a promising approach to control neonatal diarrhoeas.
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