Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bacterial supplement could help young pigs at weaning age fight disease

Date:
January 22, 2013
Source:
American Society of Animal Science
Summary:
Weaning is a time of stress and a lack of energy for pigs. Energy produced by a special type of gut bacteria could help pigs fight pathogens and stay healthy. This new research may have implications for human health.

A common type of bacteria may help pigs stay healthy during weaning. In a study of 36 weanling-age pigs, researchers found that a dose of lipid-producing Rhodococcus opacus bacteria increased circulating triglycerides. Triglycerides are a crucial source of energy for the immune system.

"We could potentially strengthen the immune system by providing this bacterium to animals at a stage when they are in need of additional energy," said Janet Donaldson, assistant professor in Biological Sciences Mississippi State University. "By providing an alternative energy source, the pigs are most likely going to be able to fight off infections more efficiently."

Donaldson and other researchers tested R. opacus because the bacterium naturally makes large amounts of triglycerides. Normally, R. opacus would use the triglycerides for its own energy, but a pig can use the triglycerides too.

Jeff Carroll, research leader for the USDA Agricultural Research Service Livestock Issues Research Unit in Lubbock, Texas, said R. opacus could be used sort of like an energy producing probiotic. He said weanling pigs are more susceptible to pathogens and stress because they have to adjust to a new diet and a new environment. To add to the risk, weaning comes at a time when a pig's immune system is immature. The stress of weaning can lead to reduced feed intake, less available energy and an increased risk of infection.

With an oral supplement of live R. opacus, weanling pigs would have an alternative source of energy. Even if pigs ate less feed, they would still have access to the triglycerides produced by these bacteria. The triglycerides could be used as an energy source during this critical stage of development.

Throughout the experiment, the researchers kept watch for any potential side effects. Donaldson said they saw no negative side effects in the pigs given R. opacus. Because of this success, Donaldson said pig producers might someday use R. opacus on their own farms. She said the bacteria could be provided to pigs through existing watering systems.

The next step in the experiment is to test how pigs given R. opacus react to an immune challenge such as Salmonella. Carroll said he is also curious to see if R. opacus can help calves stay healthy during transport.

"This could potentially be carried over to human health as well," Donaldson said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Animal Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society of Animal Science. "Bacterial supplement could help young pigs at weaning age fight disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122162333.htm>.
American Society of Animal Science. (2013, January 22). Bacterial supplement could help young pigs at weaning age fight disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122162333.htm
American Society of Animal Science. "Bacterial supplement could help young pigs at weaning age fight disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130122162333.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

San Diego Zoo Welcomes New, Rare Rhino Calf

Reuters - US Online Video (July 21, 2014) An endangered black rhino baby is the newest resident at the San Diego Zoo. Sasha Salama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

Shark Sightings a Big Catch for Cape Tourism

AP (July 21, 2014) A rise in shark sightings along the shores of Chatham, Massachusetts is driving a surge of eager vacationers to the beach town looking to catch a glimpse of a great white. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

A Centuries' Old British Tradition Is Far from a Swan Song

AFP (July 19, 2014) As if it weren't enough that the Queen is the Sovereign of the UK and 15 other Commonwealth realms, she is also the owner of all Britain's unmarked swans. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins