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Animal Science, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine

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Published Version

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Journal of Animal Science





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This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a source of dietary soluble (SF) and insoluble fiber (IF) without or with exogenous carbohydrases (xylanase, β-glucanase, and pectinase) on diarrhea incidence, selected immune responses, and growth performance in enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC)-challenged pigs. Sixty weaned pigs (6.9 ± 0.1 kg BW, ~23 d of age) were blocked by initial BW and placed in individual pens. Pens were randomly assigned to one of six treatments (n = 10 per treatment), including a nonchallenged control (NC), a positive challenge control (PC), the PC + a soluble fiber diet (10% sugar beet pulp) without (SF−) or with carbohydrases (SF+), and PC + an IF diet (15% corn distillers dried grains with solubles) without (IF−) or with carbohydrases (IF+). The control diet was primarily based on corn and soybean meal with 13.5% whey powder. The two sources of fiber were added at the expense of cornstarch in the control diet. Pigs were orally inoculated with 6 mL hemolytic F18 ETEC (~3.5 × 109 cfu/mL) or sham infected with 6 mL phosphate-buffered saline on day 7 (0 d postinoculation, dpi) postweaning. All ETEC challenged pigs were confirmed to be genetically susceptible to F18 ETEC. Pigs had free access to feed and water throughout the 14-d trial. Pig BW and feed intake were recorded on dpi −7, 0, and 7 or 8. Fecal swabs were collected on dpi −7, 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 or 8 to evaluate hemolytic E. coli shedding. Fecal score was visually ranked daily postchallenge to evaluate diarrhea incidence. Blood samples were collected on dpi −1, 3, and 7 or 8 at necropsy and intestinal tissues were collected at necropsy. Pigs on PC had lower dpi 1 to 7 ADG and ADFI than those on NC (P < 0.05). Compared with PC pigs, SF+ pigs had greater ADG during both pre- and postchallenge period (P < 0.05). The IF− increased postchallenge diarrhea incidence compared with PC (P < 0.05). Pigs on SF− had lower ileal E. coli attachment than PC (P < 0.05). The SF+ reduced haptoglobin and IF+ reduced C-reactive protein on dpi 3 compared with PC (P < 0.05). Compared with PC pigs, SF+ pigs tended to have lower ileal tumor necrosis factor alpha and greater ileal occludin (OCLN) mRNA (P < 0.10) and had greater (P < 0.05) colonic OCLN mRNA levels. Collectively, IF− increased incidence of diarrhea and fecal E. coli shedding compared with PC. The SF+ pigs had improved growth compared with PC pigs, likely due in part to a reduction in inflammatory intermediates.


This article is published as Li, Qingyun, Eric R. Burrough, Nicholas K. Gabler, Crystal L. Loving, Orhan Sahin, Stacie A. Gould, and John F. Patience. "A soluble and highly fermentable dietary fiber with carbohydrases improved gut barrier integrity markers and growth performance in F18 ETEC challenged pigs." Journal of animal science 97, no. 5 (2019): 2139-2153. doi: 10.1093/jas/skz093.


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