A disease challenge experiment was conducted to determine if including 10% dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) in the diet, with or without antimicrobial supplementation, reduces the incidence or severity, or both, of intestinal lesions in growing pigs after an Lawsonia intracellularis challenge. One hundred 17-d-old weaned pigs were blocked by sex, ancestry, and BW and randomly allotted to 1 of 5 treatment groups: negative control, unchallenged, corn-soy diet; positive control, challenged, corn-soy diet; 10% DDGS diet, challenged; positive control with antimicrobial regimen, challenged; and 10% DDGS diet with antimicrobial regimen, challenged. For antimicrobial-supplemented treatments, diets contained 33 ppm bacitracin methylene disalicylate throughout the experiment, with chlortetracycline (Aureomycin) pulsed at 550 ppm from d 3 prechallenge to d 11 postchallenge. Challenged pigs were orally inoculated with 8.0 × 108 L. intracellularis organisms after a 4-wk prechallenge period. On d 21 postchallenge, pigs were euthanized, lesions of intestinal mucosa were evaluated, and ileal tissue samples were analyzed by immunohistochemistry to determine the presence and proliferation rate of L. intracellularis. Compared with other dietary treatments, feeding a diet containing 10% DDGS reduced ileum and colon lesion length and prevalence (P < 0.05) and reduced severity of lesions in the ileum (P < 0.05) and colon (P < 0.10) in challenged pigs. Compared with other challenged pigs, those fed the diet containing the antimicrobial regimen had a lower prevalence and severity of lesions in the jejunum (P < 0.05) and tended to have reduced total tract lesion length (P = 0.11). Compared with other challenged pigs, pigs on the 10% DDGS diet with antimicrobial regimen exhibited no differences in length, severity, or prevalence of lesions (P > 0.15), but fecal shedding of L. intracellularis was reduced on d 14 postchallenge (P < 0.05). No dietary effects on fecal shedding were observed by d 20 postchallenge (P > 0.10). The proportion of cells infected with L. intracellularis was reduced when DDGS (P = 0.05) or antimicrobial (P = 0.10) diets were fed. Under the conditions of this experiment, dietary inclusion of 10% DDGS appears to provide some benefit to growing pigs subjected to a moderate L. intracellularis challenge, similar to those of a currently approved antimicrobial regimen.
- Distillers dried grains with solubles