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Live Yeast for pigs

The effect of live yeast on recurrent colibacillosis in field condition (Czech Republic)

Published: December 16, 2011
By: Dr Jan Bernardy
Probiotics, including live yeast and lactic acid bacteria cultures, have been reported to improve performance of weaned piglets. Milk replacer supplemented with Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sc 47 (Actisaf) and fed to weaned piglets showed improved postweaning growth and reduced number of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) in piglets after weaning, suggesting an immunomodulatory role of Sc 47. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of Sc 47 dietary supplementation on the presence of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) strains in faeces, general symptoms of diarrhoea and performance of piglets.

The experiment was conducted under field conditions at a farrow to finish unit with 600 sows, with farrowing, post-weaning and finishing departments placed in separate buildings. The trial included two batches of piglets (556 and 548), from weaning (25 days of age) to the end of the post-weaning period (approximately 80 days of age). The piglets were housed in rooms with pens (25 piglets per pen) equipped with a slatted floor. The first batch (Sc 47 treatment) received for 10 days after weaning mash liquid feed supplemented with Sc 47 live yeast at 1000 ppm. The second batch (Control) was fed by mash liquid feed without Sc 47 supplementation. From each batch, 10 piglets were randomly selected, ear-tagged and submitted to closer monitoring. They were weighed and rectal swabs were taken on weekly basis just after the weaning (Day 1). All the piglets in each treatment were subjected to daily diarrhoea scoring (score 1 - no diarrhoea signs; score 2 - pasty faeces, active piglets; score 3 - watery faeces, active piglets; score 4 - severe diarrhoea, apathy piglets). Each entire batch was weighed at the beginning and at the end of the post-weaning period. The culling and mortality rates were summarized after finishing the trial.
The results confirmed that the diarrhoea in weaned piglets occurred more severely in piglets with ETEC strains. The pathogenic strains E. coli O141:F18, VT2e+ and O149:F4, STa+, LT+ were diagnosed. In the Sc 47 group limited number of pathogenic strains were found. The mash liquid diet supplemented with Sc 47 showed a tendency (p < 0.08) to increase daily weight gain by 8g as compared with the untreated Control group. The Sc 47 dietary supplementation may have reduced pathogenic E. coli strains and diarrhoea occurrence. The diarrhoea scores of the Sc 47 group differed significantly from those of the Control from 10 to 12 days after weaning.

The particular strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Actisaf Sc 47) may provide a way of improving pigs´health; after treatment with Sc 47, diarrhoea occurrence after weaning decreased and performance was improved compared to controls. It therefore seems that Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sc 47 could be an alternative for antimicrobial treatment and prophylaxis of intestinal disorders in pigs.

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