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 October 21, 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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