Prebiotics in swine production: Next generation

Prebiotics in swine production: Next generation

By focusing on functional genomics, a more definitive understanding of the importance of dietary intervention for disease resistance and production efficiency may be gained.

*Dr. Alexis Kiers is with Kiers Consulting in Washington, D.C.

A PREBIOTIC can be defined as "a non-digestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, thus improving host health" (Gibson and Roberfroid, 1995).

This definition has been somewhat expanded upon to include non-digestible functional carbohydrates that affect the gut ecophysiology through pathogen adsorption or immune modulation ("immunosaccharides").

The application of prebiotic compounds in feed has been primarily aimed at non-digestible oligosaccharides consisting of between approximately two and 10 saccharide units (Flickinger et al., 2003). Their ability to avoid hydrolysis in the upper gastrointestinal tract gives them the capacity to influence the intestinal microflora and to decrease intestinal pathogen numbers, as well as promote colonization of beneficial bacteria in food production animals (Spring et al., 2000; Flickinger et al., 2003).

Numerous research studies have investigated the benefits of the addition of oligosaccharides to livestock feed with respect to stabilizing the gut microbiota, modulation of immunity, disease resistance, improving colon health and, thus, benefitting overall intestinal health.

Critics have pointed to issues relating to inconsistency of the definition of mannan oligosaccharides (MOS), the inability to quantitatively test for it in feed and inconsistency in physical appearances relating to drying and fermentation parameters.

In response to these questions, researchers at Alltech embarked on a seven-year research program, utilizing nutrigenomic data, to identify responses to purified yeast carbohydrates from a specific strain of yeast known as mannan rich fraction (MRF) that can be included in diets at lower inclusion rates, is biologically more active and brings better zootechnical performance than the first generation.

 

MOS

From a commercial perspective, MOS has been used in swine diets for almost 20 years. The return on investment, based on increased performance and improvement in efficiency, has been demonstrated in countless academic and commercial trials.

Origin and mode of action. The major source of these functional carbohydrates is the cell wall fraction of bakers' and brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast cell wall mannoproteins are highly glycosylated polypeptides, often 50-95% carbohydrate by weight, that form radially extending fibrillae at the outside of the cell wall (Kapteyn et al., 1999).

Three primary modes of action of MOS have been observed in animal studies: (1) adsorption (agglutination) of pathogenic bacteria containing Type 1 fimbriae (Oyofo et al., 1989; Firon et al., 1983), (2) modulation of the host immune response (Che et al., 2011) and (3) enhancement of intestinal integrity (Spring et al., 2000).

Swine performance responses to first-generation MOS. Experiences in piglets indicate that MOS is a useful tool to improve weight gain and feed conversion and to reduce mortality in growing animals. Meta-analyses indicate that responses to MOS (Bio-Mos, Alltech) are more significant in suboptimal production conditions.

Miguel et al. (2004) conducted a meta-analysis of more than 49 trials with weaning piglets (Table 1). They calculated an average improvement in weight gain of 4.2% over animals fed a diet without MOS. This difference was partially due to increased feed intake and improved feed conversion.

When looking at factors that influenced the response, they did notice that the response was larger when the performance of the control animals was lower. Taking into account that performance is closely related to health status, these data indicate that the effect of MOS is larger in a poor health status situation than under optimal production conditions.

Le Mieux et al. (2003) and Davis (2002) also reported that the presence of high levels of zinc and copper can interact with dietary MOS negatively. Kumprecht and Zobac (1998) showed that performance with MOS could be further improved when fed in combination with a probiotic containing Enterococcus faecium.

Che et al. (2011) reported that pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus demonstrated greater feed efficiency when fed MOS in their diet.

While the majority of experiments have been conducted with growing farm animals, MOS also can play a role in reproducing animals. MOS has been shown to improve performance in sows (Newman, 2001; O'Quinn et al., 2001; Landeau and Le Dividich, 2013).

 

Next generation: MRF

Recently, new data have become available on a second-generation, purified and more bioactive fraction derived from a selected strain of S. cerevisiae yeast using a proprietary process developed by Alltech.

This natural MRF of carbohydrate has been shown to block unfavorable organisms from the gut. This carbohydrate supports nutrient utilization, maintains digestive function and enzyme activity, controls inflammation and reduces the gap between ideal and actual performance (Che et al., 2011; Samuel et al., 2012; Xiao et al., 2010). These mechanisms have been confirmed using nutrigenomic data.

MRF is a true second-generation product developed using Alltech's nutrigenomic tools to screen yeast cell fractions and investigate the associated benefits of supplementation on host intestinal tissue. The result of the nutrigenomic work has led to a more concentrated bioactive feed additive that can be included in diets at lower inclusion rates and improved zootechnical performance observed under challenging field conditions.

MRF and immunity to viral diseases. One aspect of the PRRS virus is that it causes devastating infection in pigs, and age continues to be a factor in the variability that is observed post-infection. In other words, older animals appear to handle the infection better than young animals (Kling et al., 2009).

MRF most likely does not have a direct effect on the PRRS virus infection when measured by viremia and fever (Che et al., 2012), although there has been improved growth in infected animals after the first two weeks, i.e., days 14-42 after infection but not during the fever time of days 0-14 (Figures 1 and 2).

More purified than MOS, MRF provides a great source of attachment for specific pathogens, and because it is not digestible, it potentially "shuttles" attached bacteria through the digestive tract, preventing colonization. In respect to immunomodulation, it has been reported for some time that weanling pigs fed MOS have increased levels of immunoglobulins, increased B-lymphocytes and enhanced lymphocyte proliferation and phagocytosis of Staphylococcus aureus by macrophages (Newman, 1994).

The consequences of an overzealous immune response or even continuous inflammatory response can have considerable negative growth impacts for swine. The goal is to formulate diets with functional feed ingredients that regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Understanding the mechanisms by which the immune system's changes create or reduce the animal's performance will allow management strategies to be developed that maximize the pig's genetic potential and producer profitability.

MRF and growth performance in swine production. Performance benefits have been observed in a series of five pig studies, including three particular trials in Europe, where feeding MRF resulted in pigs gaining 20 g per day more with 4.5 points better feed conversion and 0.43% lower mortality (Hooge, unpublished).

An 80-day study (Edward et al., 2012) was conducted to evaluate the growth-promoting effects of MRF relative to copper and tylosin in commercially reared grower and finisher pigs. Nine hundred sixty male grower pigs (approximately 29.69 kg liveweight) were randomly allocated to four treatment groups of 240 pigs over six replicates of 40 pigs.

The dietary treatments consisted of: (1) a control containing no growth-promoting feed additives, (2) copper (containing 200 parts per million of copper as copper sulfate in both grower and finisher pigs), (3) MRF (containing 400 ppm and 200 ppm of MRF [as Actigen] in grower and finisher diets, respectively) and (4) tylosin (containing 40 g and 20 g of tylosin in grower and finisher diets, respectively).

Growth performance and mortality were monitored over the grower (days 0-38) and finisher (days 39-80) periods (Tables 2 and 3). Slaughter characteristics (carcass weight and back fat thickness at the P2 position) were recorded at day 80.

Pigs fed MRF experienced higher (P < 0.01) average daily gain (ADG) than pigs fed the control or copper during the grower phase. MRF or tylosin pigs tended (P = 0.08) to have superior feed conversion. No significant effect of growth promotion was observed during the finisher phase. MRF-fed pigs had higher (P < 0.01) dressing percentages than all other treatments. There was no influence of growth-promoting feed additives on back fat thickness.

Overall, MRF was as effective as tylosin and more effective than copper as a growth promoter in grower pigs. MRF inclusion was able to enhance the yield of saleable pork and presented the most economical option of effective growth promoters tested.

Another study (Landeau et al., 2013) that was conducted in three locations (A, B and C) on a total of 149 mixed-parity sows examined the effect of feeding MRF or MOS to gestating sows on the birth weight of piglets. Within location, sows were allotted to either control or treatment groups on the basis of parity.

The control group included 69 sows: 25 at location A, 24 at location B and 20 at location C. The treatment group included 80 sows: 26 at A, 24 at B and 30 at C. MOS was given to sows at the rate of 4 g per day starting on day 30 of gestation at location A or 5 g per day starting on day 90 of gestation at location C, and MRF was included in the diet (0.1%) throughout gestation at location B.

Piglets were dried and weighed (+2 g) at birth before the first suckling. The interaction between location and treatment was not significant (P = 0.99). Data were adjusted to a common litter size of 13.15 piglets born alive, representing the overall mean litter size.

The average individual birth weight was increased in treated sows (1,422 g versus 1,361 g; P = 0.042). As a consequence, the distribution of individual birth weights was also different (Chi-square = 0.026). The percentage of light piglets (fewer than 1,000 g) was lower, 11.6% versus 15.6% (P = 0.008), while the percentage of heavy ones (greater than 1,600 g) was higher, 27.3% versus 23.0% (P = 0.032), in treated sows, but the coefficient of variation was not statistically different.

It was concluded that adding MOS to gestation diets is associated with an increase in piglets' birth weight.

 

Conclusion

In animal performance studies, the dietary inclusion of functional carbohydrates, in particular MRF, has been demonstrated to have a broad range of physiological responses through modification in gastrointestinal tract activity, which can influence physiological activity elsewhere in the body such as energy and lipid metabolism, endocrine function and immune status.

Further advances in the fields of nutrigenomics, proteomics and metabolomics will enable researchers to ask key questions about diet and its effects on an organism. By focusing on gene expression and functional genomics, a more definitive understanding of the importance of dietary intervention in nutritional strategies for disease resistance and production efficiency will be gained.

MOS, with its cost of production, extraction technology and potentially infinite supply, came to be used widely in weaning pig diets over the last 20 years but is now being superseded by the next-generation MRF.

 

References

Agricultural Research Service, 1972. Antibiotics in animal and poultry feeds — A critical review of research. U.S. Department of Agriculture, ARS 44-237, April.

Ballou, C. 1976. Structure and biosynthesis of the mannan component of the yeast cell envelope. In: Rose and Tempest (eds.). Advances in microbiological physiology. Vol. 11. p. 93-158.

Cabib, E., and R. Roberts. 1982. Synthesis of the yeast cell wall and its regulation. Ann. Rev. 51:763-793.

Che, T.M., R.W. Johnson, K.W. Kelley, W.G. Van Alstine, K.A. Dawson, C.A. Moran and J.E. Pettigrew. 2011. Mannan oligosaccharide improves immune responses and growth efficiency of nursery pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. J. Anim. Sci. 89:2592-2602.

Che, T.M., M. Song, Y. Liu, R.W. Johnson, K.W. Kelley, W.G. Van Alstine, K.A. Dawson and J.E. Pettigrew. 2012. Mannan oligosaccharide increases serum concentrations of antibodies and inflammatory mediators in weanling pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. J. Anim. Sci. 90:2784-2793.

Davis, M.E., C.V. Maxwell, D.C. Grown, B.Z. de Rodas, Z.B. Johnson, E.B. Kegley, D.H. Hellwig and R.A. Dvorak. Effect of dietary mannan oligosaccharide and(or) pharmacological additions of copper sulfate on growth performance of weanling and growing/finishing pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 80:2887-2894.

Edwards, A.C., M.V. Edwards, P. Millard and A. Kocher. 2012. Actigen promotes growth and enhanced carcass yield in commercially reared grower-finisher pigs. Livestock Sci. (submitted).

Fairchild, A.S., J.L. Grimes, F.T. Jones, M.J. Wineland, F.W. Edens and A.E. Sefton. 2001. Effects of hen age, MOS and Flavomycin on poult susceptibility to oral Escherichia coli challenge. Poult. Sci. 80:562-571.

Firon, N., I. Ofek and N. Sharon. 1983. Carbohydrate specificity of the surface lectins of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Salmonella typhimurium. Carbohydrate Research 120:235-249.

Flickinger, E.A., J. Van Loo and G.C. Fahey. 2003. Nutritional responses to the presence of inulin and oligofructose in the diets of domesticated animals: A review. Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition. 43:1, 19-60.

Gibson, G.R., and M.B. Roberfroid. 1995. Dietary modulation of the human colonic microbiota: Introducing the concept of prebiotics. J. Nutr. 125:1401-1412.

Houjidk, J. 1998. Effects of non-digestible oligosaccharides in young pig diets. Ph.D. Dissertation. Wageningen Agricultural Univ., Wageningen, Netherlands.

Hume, 2011. Historic perspective? Prebiotics, probiotics, and other alternatives to antibiotics. Poult. Sci. 90:2663-2669.

Kapteyn, J.C., et al. 1999. The contribution of cell wall proteins to the organization of the yeast cell wall. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1426(2):373-383.

Kling, K.L., E.M. Vaughn, M.B. Roof, F.M. Bautistat and M.P. Murtaugh. 2009. Age-dependent resistance to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus replication in swine. Virology J. 6:177.

Kornegay, E.T., C.M. Wood and L.A. Eng. 1992. Effectiveness and safety of fructo-oligosaccharides for pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 70(Suppl. 1):19(abstr.).

Kumprecht, I., and P. Zobac. 1998. Study on the effect of a combined preparation containing Enterococcus facium M-74 and mannan oligosaccharide in diets for weanling piglets. Czech J. Anim. Sci. 43:477-481.

Landeau, E., and J. Le Dividich. 2013. Effect on pig birth weight of including mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) in reproductive sow diets. Poster, Journees de la Recherche Porcine, Paris, France.

LeMieux, F.M., L.L. Southern and T.D. Bidner. 2003. Effect of mannan oligosaccharide on growth performance of weaning pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 81:2482-2487.

Miguel, J.C., S.L. Rodriguez-Zas and J.E. Pettigrew. 2004. Efficacy of a mannan oligosaccharide (Bio-Mos) for improving nursery pig performance. J. Swine Health Prod. 12(6):296-307.

Mikkelsen, L.L., M. Jakobsen and B.B. Jensen. 2003. Effects of dietary oligosaccharides on microbial diversity and fructo-oligosaccharide degrading bacteria in feces of piglets post-weaning. Anim. Sci. Tech. 109:133-150.

Newman, K.E. 2001. Effect of mannan oligosaccharide on the microflora and immunoglobulin status of sows and piglet performance. J. Anim. Sci. 79(Suppl. 1):189.

Newman, K.E., K. Jacques and R.P. Buede. 1993. Effect of mannanoligosaccharide in milk replacer on gain, performance and fecal bacteria of Holstein calves. J. Anim. Sci. 71(Suppl. 1):271.

O'Quinn, P.R., D.W. Funderbunke and G.W. Tibbetts. 2001. Effect of dietary supplementation of mannan oligosaccharide on sow and litter performance in a commercial production system. J. Anim. Sci. 79(Suppl. 1):212.

Oyofo, A.O., J.R. DeLoach, D.E. Corrier, J.O. Norman, R.L. Ziprin and H.H. Mollenhauer. 1989a. Effect of carbohydrates on Salmonella typhimurium colonization in broiler chickens. Avian Dis. 33:531-534.

Phelps, C. 1965. The physical properties of inulin solutions. Biochem. J. 45:41-47.

Shim, S.B., M.W.A. Verstegen, I.H. Kim, O.S. Kwon and J.M.A.J. Verdonk. 2005. Effects of feeding antibiotic-free creep feed supplemented with oligofructose, probiotics or synbiotics to suckling piglets increases the pre-weaning weight gain and composition of intestinal microbiota. Arch. Anim. Nutr. 59:419-427.

Spring, P., C. Wenk, K.A. Dawson and K.E. Newman. 2000. The effects of dietary mannanoligosaccharides on cecal parameters and the concentrations of enteric bacteria in the ceca of salmonella-challenged broiler chicks. Poult. Sci. 79:205-211.

Van Loo, J., P. Coussement, L.D. Leenheer, H. Hoebregs and G. Smits. 1995. On the presence of inulin and oligofructose as natural ingredients in the western diet. Crit. Rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 35:525-552.

Zhao, P.Y., J.H. Jung and I.H. Kim. 2012. Effect of mannan oligosaccharides and fructan on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile and diarrhea score in weanling pigs. J. Anim. Sci. 90: 833-839.

 

1. ADG, average daily feed intake and feed:gain responses to MOS in nursery pigs in experiments comparing growth parameters in nursery pigs fed MOS and control pigs*

 

Number of

Difference,

 

Parameters

comparisons

mean % + SE

P-value**

ADG, g/day

54

4.12 + 0.74

< 0.001

Feed intake, kg/day

54

2.11 + 0.67

0.003

Feed:gain

54

-2.29 + 0.59

< 0.001

*Data obtained from 29 separate experiments containing a total of 54 comparisons of growth performance in nursery pigs.

**Determined by analysis of variance.

SE = standard error.

 

2. Effects of growth promoters on growth performance of grower (days 0-38) and finisher pigs (days 39-80)

 

 

-Treatment-

Std.

 

 

Day

Control

Copper

MRF

Tylosin

error

P-value

Liveweight (kg)

0

29.42

30.04

29.64

29.70

0.288

0.905

38

57.67

58.70

59.96

58.99

0.415

0.286

80

95.64

97.69

98.03

96.80

0.679

0.616

Weight gain (kg)

0-38

28.25a

28.66a

30.32b

29.29ab

0.211

0.002

39-80

37.97

38.99

38.07

37.81

0.426

0.774

0-80

66.22

67.65

68.39

67.10

0.510

0.503

ADG (g/day)

0-38

742a

754a

798b

771ab

5.6

0.001

39-80

887

911

891

881

11.1

0.812

0-80

813

833

842

828

7.0

0.533

Feed intake (g/day)

0-38

1,572

1,580

1,618

1,588

9.4

0.361

39-80

2,305

2,352

2,258

2,289

27.1

0.699

0-80

1,953

1,981

1,951

1,953

16.0

0.908

Feed:gain

0-38

2.145y

2.110xy

2.054x

2.060x

0.0150

0.088

39-80

2.613

2.583

2.549

2.599

0.0270

0.873

0-80

2.406

2.378

2.322

2.358

0.0160

0.329

Removals, %

0-80

4.4

4.0

3.6

3.6

 

 

a,bValues with different letters within a row are significantly different (P < 0.05).

x,yValues with different letters within a row tend to differ (P < 0.10).

 

3. Effect of growth promoters on carcass characteristics of pigs

 

-Treatment-

Std.

 

 

Control

Copper

MRF

Tylosin

error

P-value

Carcass weight, kg

70.81

72.30

73.81

71.60

0.558

0.275

Dressing, %

73.70a

74.04a

75.33b

73.98a

0.171

0.002

Back fat (P2), mm

9.03

9.20

9.28

9.09

0.085

0.766

a,bValues with different letters within a row are significantly different (P < 0.05).

Prebiotics in swine production: Next generation

Volume:85 Issue:52

Hide comments

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish