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The effects of superoxide dismutase-rich melon pulp concentrate on inflammation, antioxidant status and growth performance of challenged post-weaning piglets

  • A. S. M. L. Ahasan (a1), G. Invernizzi (a1), G. Farina (a1), A. Pilotto (a1), F. Barbé (a2), V. Bontempo (a1), R. Rossi (a1), F. Bellagamba (a1), C. Lecchi (a3), G. Savoini (a1) and A. Agazzi (a1)...


Piglets can often suffer impaired antioxidant status and poor immune response during post-weaning, especially when chronic inflammation takes place, leading to lower growth rates than expected. Oral administration of dietary antioxidant compounds during this period could be a feasible way to balance oxidation processes and increase health and growth performance. The aim of the trial was to study the effects of an antioxidant feed supplement (melon pulp concentrate) that contains high concentration of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD) on inflammation, antioxidant status and growth performance of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenged weaned piglets. In total, 48 weaned piglets were individually allocated to four experimental groups in a 2×2 factorial design for 29 days. Two different dietary treatments were adopted: (a) control (CTR), fed a basal diet, (b) treatment (MPC), fed the basal diet plus 30 g/ton of melon pulp concentrate. On days 19, 21, 23 and 25 half of the animals within CTR and MPC groups were subjected to a challenge with intramuscular injections of an increasing dosage of LPS from Escherichia coli (serotype 0.55:B5) (+) or were injected with an equal amount of PBS solution (). Blood samples were collected at the beginning of the trial and under the challenge period for interleukin 1β, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor α, haptoglobin, plasma SOD activity, total antioxidant capacity, reactive oxygen species, red blood cells and plasma resistance to haemolysis, and 8-oxo-7, 8-dihydro-2’-deoxyguanosine. Growth performance was evaluated weekly. A positive effect of melon pulp concentrate was evidenced on total antioxidant capacity, half-haemolysis time of red blood cells, average daily gain (ADG) and feed intake, while LPS challenge increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and haptoglobin serum concentrations, with a reduced feed intake and gain : feed (G : F). The obtained results show that oral SOD supplementation with melon pulp concentrate ameliorates the total antioxidant capacity and the half-haemolysis time in red blood cell of post-weaning piglets, with positive results on growing performance.


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Present address: Department of Anatomy and Histology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, 4225, Chittagong, Bangladesh.



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The effects of superoxide dismutase-rich melon pulp concentrate on inflammation, antioxidant status and growth performance of challenged post-weaning piglets

  • A. S. M. L. Ahasan (a1), G. Invernizzi (a1), G. Farina (a1), A. Pilotto (a1), F. Barbé (a2), V. Bontempo (a1), R. Rossi (a1), F. Bellagamba (a1), C. Lecchi (a3), G. Savoini (a1) and A. Agazzi (a1)...


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