Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of a marine-derived bacillus strain for use as an in-feed probiotic for newly weaned pigs

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Prieto, Maria Luz
O'Sullivan, Laurie
Tan, Shiau Pin
McLoughlin, Peter
Hughes, Helen
O'Donovan, Orla
Rea, Mary C.
Kent, Robert M.
Cassidy, Joseph P.
Gardiner, Gillian E.
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Forty eight individual pigs (8.7 ± 0.26 kg) weaned at 28 ± 1 d of age were used in a 22-d study to evaluate the effect of oral administration of a Bacillus pumilus spore suspension on growth performance and health indicators. Treatments (n = 16) were: (1) non-medicated diet; (2) medicated diet with apramycin (200 mg/kg) and pharmacological levels of zinc oxide (2,500 mg zinc/kg) and (3) B. pumilus diet (non-medicated diet + 10(10) spores/day B. pumilus). Final body weight and average daily gain tended to be lower (P = 0.07) and feed conversion ratio was worsened (P<0.05) for the medicated treatment compared to the B. pumilus treatment. Ileal E. coli counts were lower for the B. pumilus and medicated treatments compared to the non-medicated treatment (P<0.05), perhaps as a result of increased ileal propionic acid concentrations (P<0.001). However, the medicated treatment reduced fecal (P<0.001) and cecal (P<0.05) Lactobacillus counts and tended to reduce the total cecal short chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration (P = 0.10). Liver weights were lighter and concentrations of liver enzymes higher (P<0.05) in pigs on the medicated treatment compared to those on the non-medicated or B. pumilus treatments. Pigs on the B. pumilus treatment had lower overall lymphocyte and higher granulocyte percentages (P<0.001) and higher numbers of jejunal goblet cells (P<0.01) than pigs on either of the other two treatments or the non-medicated treatment, respectively. However, histopathological examination of the small intestine, kidneys and liver revealed no abnormalities. Overall, the B. pumilus treatment decreased ileal E. coli counts in a manner similar to the medicated treatment but without the adverse effects on growth performance, Lactobacillus counts, cecal SCFA concentration and possible liver toxicity experienced with the medicated treatment.
Cereus var. toyoi , Dietary zinc oxide , Escherichia coli , Piglets , Diarrhea , Bacteria , Growth , Acid , Combination , Performance
Prieto ML, O'Sullivan L, Tan SP, McLoughlin P, Hughes H, O'Donovan O, et al. (2014) Evaluation of the Efficacy and Safety of a Marine-Derived Bacillus Strain for Use as an In-Feed Probiotic for Newly Weaned Pigs. PLoS ONE 9(2): e88599. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088599