ABSTRACT: Seventy-two barrows (Landrace × Large White, initial BW of 4.9 ± 0.3 kg and 17 ± 3 d old) were used to determine if dietary chito-oligosaccharides can replace antibiotics as a means to reduce signs associated with infection in weaned pigs challenged with Escherichia coli. Pigs were assigned to 1 of 4 treatments in a randomized complete block design using 6 pens per treatment with 3 pigs per pen. The treatments consisted of pigs fed the unsupplemented corn-soybean meal diet challenged or unchallenged with E. coli K88 and pigs fed the same diet supplemented with 160 mg of chitooligosaccharides or 100 mg of cyadox/kg and challenged with E. coli K88. On d 7, 1 group of pigs fed the unsupplemented diet, as well as all pigs fed diets containing chito-oligosaccharides or cyadox, were orally dosed with 30 mL of an alkaline broth containing E. coli K88. Another group of pigs fed the unsupplemented diet was orally dosed with 30 mL of sterilized alkaline broth. Fecal consistency was visually assessed each morning from d 7 to 14. Blood samples were collected at 0, 24, 48, and 168 h postinfection. On d 14 postchallenge, all pigs were killed to evaluate intestinal morphology and determine E. coli concentrations in the intestine. During the postchallenge period (wk 2), unsupplemented pigs challenged with E. coli had decreased (P < 0.05) BW gain, feed intake, fecal consistency, villus height, villus height:crypt depth ratio, and plasma IGF-1, and increased (P < 0.05) diarrhea incidence, E. coli counts in the intestine, plasma interleukin-1β, plasma IL-10, and IGA-positive cells in the jejunal and ileal lamina propria, compared with unchallenged pigs. Supplementation with cyadox largely mitigated these effects. Although chito-oligosaccharide reduced the incidence of diarrhea, the growth performance of E. coli-challenged pigs supplemented with chito-oligosaccharide was not better than that of unsupplemented pigs challenged with E. coli. Therefore, chito-oligosaccharide, at the amount used in this experiment, does not seem to be an effective substitute for antibiotics as a growth promoter for newly weaned pigs challenged with E. coli.
- Escherichia coli
- Immune response