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Stronger Pig With Algae-derived Β-glucan

- Jan 30, 2019 -

Stronger pig with algae-derived β-glucan

In the ideal case of a pig being challenged by E. coli infection, the infection is stopped by having a strong immune response and then quickly returned to normal growth. The use of algae-derived β-glucan can help achieve this goal.

β-glucan is a heterogeneous polysaccharide group naturally found in grains, fungi, algae and algae, and is known to have antitumor and immunomodulatory effects in vitro, although not all types of β-glucan are expressed. A similar immunomodulatory effect.

Euglena gracilis algae

Currently, most commercially available β-glucan are derived from yeast, and limited studies have been conducted on algae-derivedβ-glucan in pigs. The β-glucan extracted from Euglena gracilis is linked by (1,3)-glycosidic linkage and classified as paramylon. Early studies have shown that β-glucan from algae Euglena strongly stimulates porcine leukocytes in vitro. Therefore, the researchers wanted to know whether supplementation with Euglenia gracilis-derived β-glucan could modulate immune response and intestinal integrity, thereby enhancing the disease resistance and health of weaned piglets. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of algae-derived β-glucan on diarrhea, intestinal permeability and immune response in weaned piglets infected with F18 E. coli. The study was published in the journal Animal Feed Science and Technology.


Photo: Henk Riswick

3 dietary treatments

Thirty-six weaned piglets (21 days old) were selected from the University of California, Davis's Pig Teaching Research Center, which had the same number of gilts and warthogs with an average initial body weight (BW) of 7.69 ± 0.77 kg. The sows and piglets used in this experiment did not receive E. coli vaccine, antibiotic injection or antibiotics in the creep feed. After weaning, all pigs were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments:

1) Compound nursery basal diet as a control diet

2) Compound nursery basal diet, including 54 mg / kg (low dose) algae-derived β-glucan

3) Compound nursery basal diet, including 108 mg / kg (high dose) algae-derived β-glucan

All diets are in line with current estimates of the nutritional needs of finishing pigs (NRC, 2012). Spray-dried plasma, antibiotics and zinc oxide are not included in the diet. The experimental diet was fed to the pigs as a paste throughout the experiment. The β-glucan used in this experiment was ProGlucanTM (Euglena gracilis), supplied by Algal Scientific (Plymouth, MI), USA, and is part of Kemin. The product contains about 50% β-glucan, 95% of which is beta-1,3-glucan. After 5 days of adaptation, all pigs were orally inoculated with 3 mL of F18 E. coli for 3 consecutive days from day 0 post-inoculation (PI).

Accelerate infection recovery

The results of this experiment showed that high doses of β-glucan reduced the frequency of diarrhea (29.01% versus 17.28%) throughout the experiment. Feed supplementation of approximately 108 mg / kg of algae-derived β-glucan reduced diarrhea in pigs infected with F18 E. coli by enhancing intestinal integrity. Feeding algae-derived β-glucan also enhances the host's immune response to E. coli infection. The β-glucan  product stimulates T cell activation and reduces inflammation, thus accelerating the recovery of pigs from E. coli infection. Due to the limited use of antibiotics in feed, the use of algae-derived β-glucan will promote the health of weaned piglets and increase the profitability of pork producers.

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