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Effect of lactation environment and dietary zinc oxide level on the response of group housed weaned pigs to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) O149 challenge

  • R. Slade (a1), S. Carroll (a1), F. Reynolds (a1), K. White (a1), I. Wellock (a2), I. Kyriasakis (a2) and H. Miller (a1)...

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Proliferation of ETEC in the small intestine is recognised as the predominant cause of post-weaning colibacillosis (Marquardt et al., 1999). Established ETEC secrete toxins that disrupt normal enterocyte function and lead to diarrhoea, dehydration, poor performance and increased mortality. Zinc oxide (ZnO) addition to the diet increases small intestine mucosal growth and promotes normal intestinal function. In turn the incidence and/or severity of diarrhoea is reduced and performance is improved (Li et al., 2001, Ragland et al., 2006). Pre-weaning environment also influences performance with outdoor reared pigs growing faster to weaning than indoor reared contemporaries (Miller et al., 2007) but are outdoor reared pigs able to cope with ETEC challenge at weaning? The current experiment compared the responses of group-housed pigs weaned from different lactation environments and fed diets differing in ZnO content to a prescribed ETEC challenge.

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Li, B. T., Van Kessel, A. G., Caine, W. R., Huang, S. X., and Kirkwood, R. N.. 2001. Canadian Journal of Animal Science. 81:511–516.
Marquardt, R. R., Jin, L. Z., Kim, J. W., Fang, L., Frohlich, A. A., and Baidoo, S. K.. 1999. Immunology and Medical Microbiology. 23(4):283–288.
Miller, H. M., Carroll, S. M., Reynolds, F. H., and Slade, R. D.. 2007. Livestock Science. 108(1-3):124–127.
Ragland, D., Schneider, J. R., Amas, S. F., and Hill, M.. 2006. Journal of Swine Health and Production. 14(2):82–88.

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