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pig growth promotion by antimicrobials is associated with enhanced intestinal barrier function

category: feed additives

date:june 2016

authors: a.mereu, j.j. pastor, g.tedó, i.r. ipharraguerre

book/journal:journées de la recherche porcine, 48, 129-130


antimicrobial additives (ama) have long been used to treat infections and promote pig growth. published evidence suggests that some ama have a direct anti-inflammatory effect on the intestine. therefore, it seems reasonable to expect that the growth-promoting effect of ama may be related to improvements in the gut barrier function. to test this hypothesis, 24 piglets were weaned (5.8 ± 0.34 kg), housed individually, and fed standard pre-starter (from weaning to d 14) and starter (from d 15 to d 42) diets without (con, n = 12) or with (ama, n = 12) antimicrobial compounds (pre-starter, 40 g/t tiamulin, 400 g/t chlortetraciclin and 2500 g/t zinc oxide; starter, 40 g/t tiamulin, 110 g/t chlortetraciclin and 2500 g/t zinc oxide). on d 42, segments of mid-ileum were harvested from 8 pigs/treatment and mounted on ussing chambers for measurements of trans-epithelial electrical resistance (ter) and short circuit current (isc ). on average, animals in the ama group did not consume more feed (507 vs 480 g/d), but gained more bw (377 vs 328 g/d, p < 0.01) and grew more efficiently (0.82 vs 0.78; p < 0.01) than con pigs. as a result, ama animals finished the study with a higher bw (18.7 vs 16.8; p < 0.01). furthermore, ama increased ter (163 vs 115 ω∙cm2 , p = 0. 02) and decreased isc (2.2 vs 6.1 μa cm2 ; p < 0.05). in conclusion, ama feed supplementation resulted in improved animal growth and this response was associated with improved gut barrier function