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To characterize the presence and magnitude of viruses in the air and on surfaces in the rooms of hospitalized patients with respiratory viral infections, and to explore the association between care activities and viral contamination.
Prospective observational study.
Acute-care academic hospital.
In total, 52 adult patients with a positive respiratory viral infection test within 3 days of observation participated. Healthcare workers (HCWs) were recruited in staff meetings and at the time of patient care, and 23 wore personal air-sampling devices.
Viruses were measured in the air at a fixed location and in the personal breathing zone of HCWs. Predetermined environmental surfaces were sampled using premoistened Copan swabs at the beginning and at the end of the 3-hour observation period. Preamplification and quantitative real-time PCR methods were used to quantify viral pathogens.
Overall, 43% of stationary and 22% of personal air samples were positive for virus. Positive stationary air samples were associated with ≥5 HCW encounters during the observation period (odds ratio [OR], 5.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2–37.8). Viruses were frequently detected on all of the surfaces sampled. Virus concentrations on the IV pole hanger and telephone were positively correlated with the number of contacts made by HCWs on those surfaces. The distributions of influenza, rhinoviruses, and other viruses in the environment were similar.
Healthcare workers are at risk of contracting respiratory virus infections when delivering routine care for patients infected with the viruses, and they are at risk of disseminating virus because they touch virus-contaminated fomites.
To characterize the magnitude of virus contamination on personal protective equipment (PPE), skin, and clothing of healthcare workers (HCWs) who cared for patients having acute viral infections.
Prospective observational study.
Acute-care academic hospital.
A total of 59 HCWs agreed to have their PPE, clothing, and/or skin swabbed for virus measurement.
The PPE worn by HCW participants, including glove, face mask, gown, and personal stethoscope, were swabbed with Copan swabs. After PPE doffing, bodies and clothing of HCWs were sampled with Copan swabs: hand, face, and scrubs. Preamplification and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methods were used to quantify viral RNA copies in the swab samples.
Overall, 31% of glove samples, 21% of gown samples, and 12% of face mask samples were positive for virus. Among the body and clothing sites, 21% of bare hand samples, 11% of scrub samples, and 7% of face samples were positive for virus. Virus concentrations on PPE were not statistically significantly different than concentrations on skin and clothing under PPE. Virus concentrations on the personal stethoscopes and on the gowns were positively correlated with the number of torso contacts (P < .05). Virus concentrations on face masks were positively correlated with the number of face mask contacts and patient contacts (P < .05).
Healthcare workers are routinely contaminated with respiratory viruses after patient care, indicating the need to ensure that HCWs complete hand hygiene and use other PPE to prevent dissemination of virus to other areas of the hospital. Modifying self-contact behaviors may decrease the presence of virus on HCWs.
The identification of natural bioactive compounds which can prevent the post-weaning growth check and enhance gastrointestinal health in the absence of in-feed medications is an urgent priority for the swine industry. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of increasing dietary inclusion levels of laminarin in the first 14 d post-weaning on pig growth performance and weaning associated intestinal dysfunction. At weaning, ninety-six pigs (8·4 (sd 1·09) kg) (meatline boars × (large white × landrace sows)) were blocked by live weight, litter and sex and randomly assigned to: (1) basal diet; (2) basal + 100 parts per million (ppm) laminarin; (3) basal + 200 ppm laminarin and (4) basal + 300 ppm laminarin (three pigs/pen). The appropriate quantity of a laminarin-rich extract (65 % laminarin) was added to the basal diet to achieve the above dietary inclusion levels of laminarin. After 14 d of supplementation, eight pigs from the basal group and the best-performing laminarin group were euthanised for sample collection. The 300 ppm laminarin group was selected as this group had higher ADFI compared with all other groups and higher ADG than the basal group (P < 0·05). Laminarin supplementation increased villus height in the duodenum and jejunum (P < 0·05). Laminarin supplementation increased the expression of SLC2A8/GLUT8 in the duodenum, SLC2A2/GLUT2, SLC2A7/GLUT7, SLC15A1/PEPT1 and FABP2 in the jejunum and SLC16A1/MCT1 in the colon. Laminarin supplementation reduced Enterobacteriaceae numbers in the caecum (P < 0·05) and increased lactobacilli numbers (P < 0·05), total volatile fatty acid concentrations and the molar proportions of butyrate (P < 0·01) in the colon. In conclusion, 300 ppm laminarin from a laminarin-rich extract has potential, as a dietary supplement, to improve performance and prevent post-weaning intestinal dysfunction.
An experiment was conducted to determine: (1) the effect of excess maternal I supplementation on the thyroid hormone status of the ewe and her progeny; (2) potential mechanisms underpinning the failure of passive transfer associated with excess I and (3) the growing lambs’ response to natural gastrointestinal infection. Twin-bearing ewes received one of two treatments (n 32/treatment group): basal diet (C) or C plus 26·6 mg of iodine/ewe per d (I), supplied as calcium iodate. Ewes were individually fed from day 119 of gestation to parturition. Progeny of I ewes had lower (P<0·01) serum IgG concentrations from 24 h to 28 d postpartum but higher serum IgG concentrations at day 70 postpartum (P<0·05). I supplementation increased the relative expression of Fc receptor, IgA, IgM high affinity and polymeric Ig receptor in the ileum of the lamb at 24 h postpartum; however, thyroid hormone receptor-β (THRB) and β-2-microglobulin (B2M) expression declined (P<0·05). Progeny of I ewes had higher growth rates to weaning (P<0·05) and lower faecal egg count (FEC) for Nematodirus battus (P<0·05) between weeks 6 and 10 postpartum. In conclusion, excess maternal I supplementation negatively affected the thyroid hormone status, serum IgG concentration, ileal morphology and the gene expression of THRB and B2M in the ileum and ras-related protein (RAB) RAB25 and the mucin gene (MUC) MUC1 in the duodenum of the lamb postpartum. These effects were followed by an enhancement of average daily gain and lower N. battus FEC in the pre-weaning period of I-supplemented lambs.
Pork and pork products are recognised as vehicles of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in humans. Seaweed-derived polysaccharides (SWE) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) have shown to exhibit antimicrobial, prebiotic and immunomodulatory activity. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of dietary GOS and SWE supplementation on reducing S. Typhimurium numbers and intestinal inflammation in vivo. In total, 30 pigs (n=10/treatment, BW 30.9 kg) were randomly assigned to three dietary treatments: (1) basal diet; (2) basal diet+2.5 g GOS/kg diet; (3) basal diet+SWE (containing 180 mg laminarin/kg diet+340 mg fucoidan/kg diet). Following an 11-day dietary adaptation period, pigs were orally challenged with 108 colony-forming units/ml S. Typhimurium (day 0). Pigs remained on their diets for a further 17 days and were then sacrificed for sample collection. The SWE supplementation did not affect S. Typhimurium numbers on days 2 and 4 post-challenge but reduced S. Typhimurium numbers in faecal samples collected day 7 post-challenge (−0.80 log gene copy numbers (GCN)/g faeces) and in caecal and colonic digesta (−0.62 and −0.98 log GCN/g digesta, respectively; P<0.05) compared with the control treatment. Lactobacillus numbers were increased in caecal and colonic digesta after GOS supplementation (+0.70 and +0.35 log GCN/g digesta, respectively; P<0.05). In colonic tissue, both GOS and SWE supplementation resulted in reduced messenger RNA expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-22, tumour necrosis factor-α and regenerating islet-derived protein 3-γ (P<0.05). It can be concluded that dietary supplementation of SWE reduced faecal and intestinal S. Typhimurium numbers compared with the basal diet, whereas dietary GOS supplementation increased Lactobacillus numbers in caecal and colonic digesta but did not affect S. Typhimurium numbers. Supplementation of GOS and SWE reduced the gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in colonic tissue of pigs after the experimental S. Typhimurium challenge.
Childhood maltreatment and a family history of a schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) are each associated with social-emotional dysfunction in childhood. Both are also strong risk factors for adult SSDs, and social-emotional dysfunction in childhood may be an antecedent of these disorders. We used data from a large Australian population cohort to determine the independent and moderating effects of maltreatment and parental SSDs on early childhood social-emotional functioning.
The New South Wales Child Development Study combines intergenerational multi-agency data using record linkage methods. Multiple measures of social-emotional functioning (social competency, prosocial/helping behaviour, anxious/fearful behaviour; aggressive behaviour, and hyperactivity/inattention) on 69 116 kindergarten children (age ~5 years) were linked with government records of child maltreatment and parental presentations to health services for SSD. Multivariable analyses investigated the association between maltreatment and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and parental SSD history, in the population sample and in sub-cohorts exposed and not exposed to parental SSD history. We also examined the association of parental SSD history and social-emotional functioning, adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Medium-sized associations were identified between maltreatment and poor social competency, aggressive behaviour and hyperactivity/inattention; small associations were revealed between maltreatment and poor prosocial/helping and anxious/fearful behaviours. These associations did not differ greatly when adjusted for parental SSD, and were greater in magnitude among children with no history of parental SSD. Small associations between parental SSD and poor social-emotional functioning remained after adjusting for demographic variables and maltreatment.
Childhood maltreatment and history of parental SSD are associated independently with poor early childhood social-emotional functioning, with the impact of exposure to maltreatment on social-emotional functioning in early childhood of greater magnitude than that observed for parental SSDs. The impact of maltreatment was reduced in the context of parental SSDs. The influence of parental SSDs on later outcomes of maltreated children may become more apparent during adolescence and young adulthood when overt symptoms of SSD are likely to emerge. Early intervention to strengthen childhood social-emotional functioning might mitigate the impact of maltreatment, and potentially also avert future psychopathology.
Feed efficiency is an important trait in the future sustainability of pig production, however, the mechanisms involved are not fully elucidated. The objective of this study was to examine nutrient digestibility, organ weights, select bacterial populations, volatile fatty acids (VFA’s), enzyme and intestinal nutrient transporter gene expression in a pig population divergent in feed efficiency. Male pigs (n=75; initial BW 22.4 kg SEM 2.03 kg) were fed a standard finishing diet for 43 days before slaughter to evaluate feed intake and growth for the purpose of calculating residual feed intake (RFI). Phenotypic RFI was calculated as the residuals from a regression model regressing average daily feed intake (ADFI) on average daily gain (ADG) and midtest BW0.60 (MBW). On day 115, 16 pigs (85 kg SEM 2.8 kg), designated as high RFI (HRFI) and low RFI (LRFI) were slaughtered and digesta was collected to calculate the coefficient of apparent ileal digestibility (CAID), total tract nutrient digestibility (CATTD), microbial populations and VFA’s. Intestinal tissue was collected to examine intestinal nutrient transporter and enzyme gene expression. The LRFI pigs had lower ADFI (P<0.001), improved feed conversion ratio (P<0.001) and an improved RFI value relative to HRFI pigs (0.19 v. −0.14 SEM 0.08; P<0.001). The LRFI pigs had an increased CAID of gross energy (GE), and an improved CATTD of GE, nitrogen and dry matter compared to HRFI pigs (P<0.05). The LRFI pigs had higher relative gene expression levels of fatty acid binding transporter 2 (FABP2) (P<0.01), the sodium/glucose co-transporter 1 (SGLT1) (P<0.05), the glucose transporter GLUT2 (P<0.10), and the enzyme sucrase–isomaltase (SI) (P<0.05) in the jejunum. The LRFI pigs had increased populations of lactobacillus spp. in the caecum compared with HRFI pigs. In colonic digesta HRFI pigs had increased acetic acid concentrations (P<0.05). Differences in nutrient digestibility, intestinal microbial populations and gene expression levels of intestinal nutrient transporters could contribute to the biological processes responsible for feed efficiency in pigs.
The algal polysaccharides laminarin (LAM) and fucoidan (FUC) have potent anti-inflammatory activities in the gastrointestinal tract. Our objective was to examine the impact of prior consumption of LAM and/or FUC on pathology and inflammation following a dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) challenge in pigs. Pigs (n 7/group) were assigned to one of five experimental groups for 56 d. From 49–55 d, distilled water or DSS was administered intragastrically. The experimental groups were: (1) basal diet + distilled water (control); (2) basal diet + DSS (DSS); (3) basal diet + FUC + DSS (FUC + DSS); (4) basal diet + LAM + DSS (LAM + DSS); and (5) basal diet + LAM + FUC + DSS (LAMFUC + DSS). The DSS group had decreased body-weight gain (P < 0·05) and serum xylose (P < 0·05), and increased proximal colon pathology score (P < 0·05), diarrhoeal score (P < 0·001) and colonic Enterobacteriaceae (P < 0·05) relative to the control group. The FUC + DSS (P < 0·01), LAM + DSS (P < 0·05) and LAMFUC + DSS (P < 0·05) groups had improved diarrhoeal score, and the LAMFUC + DSS (P < 0·05) group had improved body weight relative to the DSS group. The FUC + DSS group (P < 0·001), LAM + DSS group (P < 0·05) and LAMFUC + DSS group (P < 0·001) had lower IL-6 mRNA abundance relative to the DSS group. The LAM + DSS group had reduced Enterobacteriaceae in proximal colon digesta relative to the DSS group (P < 0·05). In conclusion, FUC or a combination of FUC and LAM improved body-weight loss, diarrhoeal scores and clinical variables associated with a DSS challenge in pigs, in tandem with a reduction in colonic IL-6 mRNA abundance.
The experiment investigated the effect of maternal dietary supplementation of seaweed-derived polysaccharides (SDP) (–SDP v. +SDP, n 20) from day 83 of gestation until weaning (day 28) on selected sow faeces and piglet digesta microbiota populations, piglet small-intestinal morphology, and intestinal nutrient transporter and inflammatory cytokine gene expression at birth, 48 h after birth and weaning. The effect of maternal dietary treatment on the piglet gene expression profile of inflammatory cytokines in the colon following a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge was also investigated. Dietary SDP reduced sow faecal Enterobacteriaceae gene numbers at parturition. Small-intestinal morphology, nutrient transporter and cytokine gene expression in newborn piglets did not differ between maternal dietary treatments (P > 0·10). At 48 h after birth, sodium–glucose-linked transporter 1 gene expression was down-regulated in the ileum of piglets suckling the SDP-supplemented sows compared with those suckling the basal sows (P = 0·050). There was a SDP × LPS challenge interaction on IL-1 and IL-6 gene expression in the colon of piglets (P < 0·05). The gene expression of IL-1 and IL-6 was down-regulated in the LPS-challenged colon of piglets suckling the SDP sows compared with those suckling the basal sows (P < 0·05). However, there was no difference in IL-1 and IL-6 gene expression in the unchallenged colon between treatment groups. At weaning, piglets suckling the SDP-supplemented sows had increased villus height in the jejunum and ileum compared with those suckling the basal-fed sows (P < 0·05). In conclusion, maternal dietary SDP supplementation enhanced the immune response of suckling piglets and improved gut morphology, making them more immune competent to deal with post-weaning adversities.
In the present study, a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement was conducted to investigate the effect of maternal supplementation with seaweed extracts ( − SWE v. +SWE, n 20) from day 83 of gestation until weaning (day 28) on post-weaning (PW) growth performance, faecal score, faecal enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) toxin quantification, intestinal histology and cytokine mRNA of unchallenged and ETEC-challenged pigs. Pigs were ETEC challenged on day 9 PW. There was a maternal treatment × challenge (SWE × ETEC) interaction effect on growth performance and faecal score (P< 0·05). Pigs from SWE-supplemented sows and ETEC-challenged (SE) had higher average daily gain (ADG) during 0–13 d PW and reduced faecal score during 0–72 h post-challenge than those from basal-fed sows and ETEC-challenged (BE) (P< 0·05). However, there was no difference between unchallenged pigs from the SWE-supplemented sows (SC) and basal-fed sows (BC) (P>0·10). Pigs from the SWE-supplemented sows had reduced heat-labile enterotoxin gene copy numbers than those from the basal-fed sows (P< 0·05). Maternal SWE supplementation increased the villus height in the ileum of pigs (P< 0·05). There was a SWE × ETEC interaction effect (P< 0·05) on IL-6 mRNA and a SWE × gastrointestinal (GI) region interaction effect (P< 0·05) on transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and TNF-α mRNA. IL-6 mRNA was down-regulated in SC pigs than BC pigs (P< 0·05). However, there was no difference in IL-6 mRNA between SE and BE pigs. The mRNA of TGF-β1 and TNF-α was down-regulated in the colon of pigs from the SWE-supplemented sows compared with those from the basal-fed sows (P< 0·05). However, there was no difference in TGF-β1 and TNF-α mRNA in the ileum between the pigs from the SWE-supplemented sows and basal-fed sows. In conclusion, maternal SWE supplementation improves ADG and the aspects of GI health of weaned pigs following an ETEC challenge.
The emergence of mental health services for older people is a relatively recent development in Ireland. Therefore, it is important to determine strengths and limitations of this modern-day care service. A starting point is to enquire from those who have been in receipt of their service and/or their respective carers.
This study aims to identify and describe the perceptions and experiences of past service users (SUs) and their carers, while in receipt of services from an acute mental health day hospital for Psychiatry of Later Life and to explore their needs/supports.
A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive design was employed. Purposive sampling achieved a sample of 13 SUs and six carers. Inclusion criteria set were that the SU had a diagnosis of a psychiatric disorder; had the capacity to make an informed consent and communicate verbally and the SU was discharged from the service between January and July 2011. Finally, carers of SUs in receipt of the service during this time were also included. Data were subjected to thematic, field analysis.
‘Person centredness’ emerged as an overarching theme. Six inter-related subthemes revealing how SUs and carers viewed their care emerged from the interviews: ‘therapeutic engagement’; ‘preservation of self-integrity’; ‘collaborative care’; ‘integrated care’; ‘social gains’; and ‘the relationship between the expectation, subsequent engagement and the perceived outcome of care’.
Findings concluded that high levels of care exist within this service. Strengths lie in the development of a therapeutic relationship, preservation of self-integrity, social gains and robust elements of person-centred holistic, integrated and collaborative care
Recommendations support the enhancement of a cohesive planned approach to admission, discharge/transition (integrated pathway).
In the present study, two experiments were conducted to (1) evaluate the effect of laminarin and/or fucoidan on ileal morphology, nutrient transporter gene expression and coefficient of total tract apparent digestibility (CTTAD) of nutrients and (2) determine whether laminarin inclusion could be used as an alternative to ZnO supplementation in weaned pig diets. Expt 1 was designed as a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, comprising four dietary treatments (n 7 replicates, weaning age 24 d, live weight 6·9 kg). The dietary treatments were as follows: (1) basal diet; (2) basal diet+300 ppm laminarin; (3) basal diet+240 ppm fucoidan; (4) basal diet+300 ppm laminarin and 240 ppm fucoidan. There was an interaction between laminarin and fucoidan on the CTTAD of gross energy (GE) (P< 0·05) and the expression of sodium–glucose-linked transporter 1 (SGLT1/SLC5A1) and GLUT1/SLC2A1 and GLUT2/SLC2A2 (P< 0·05) in the ileum. The laminarin diet increased the CTTAD of GE and increased the expression of SGLT1, GLUT1 and GLUT2 compared with the basal diet. However, there was no effect of laminarin supplementation on these variables when combined with fucoidan. Expt 2 was designed as a complete randomised design (n 8 replicates/treatment, weaning age 24 d, live weight 7·0 kg), and the treatments were (1) basal diet, (2) basal diet and laminarin (300 ppm), and (3) basal diet and ZnO (3100 ppm, 0–14 d, and 2600 ppm, 15–32 d post-weaning). The laminarin diet increased average daily gain and gain:feed ratio compared with the basal diet during days 0–32 post-weaning (P< 0·01) and had an effect similar to the ZnO diet. These results demonstrate that laminarin provides a dietary means to improve gut health and growth performance post-weaning.
Seaweed extracts (SWE) rich in laminarin and fucoidan have shown promise as a supplement for weaned piglets. However, successful application in pig nutrition depends on their bioactivity in the presence of additives such as ZnO. In the present study, a 2 × 2 factorial experiment was carried out to investigate the effect of the interaction between SWE and ZnO on the growth performance, digestibility and faecal characteristics of 192 weaned piglets (6·5 kg). The piglets were penned in groups of 4 (n 12 pens). The study consisted of two phases after weaning: a starter diet period from the day of weaning (0 d) to 21 d and a transition diet period from 21 to 40 d. The dietary treatments were as follows: (1) control diet; (2) control diet+ZnO; (3) control diet+SWE; (4) control diet+ZnO+SWE. Diets containing ZnO improved the faecal consistency of the piglets throughout the experimental period (0–40 d). An effect of the interaction between ZnO and SWE on several variable was observed. The diet containing only SWE or ZnO improved the feed conversion efficiency of the piglets during the transition diet period; however, this effect was not observed when the diet containing both ZnO and SWE was fed. The diet containing only SWE increased the N and organic matter digestibility of the piglets; however, this effect was not observed in the presence of ZnO. An interaction between ZnO and SWE was observed, whereby the faecal counts of Escherichia coli were decreased when piglets were fed the diet containing only SWE, but not when fed the diet containing both SWE and ZnO. In summary, SWE and ZnO improve growth performance when given alone, but not when given in combination. The biological effect of SWE on selected digestibility and faecal characteristics was markedly different when compared with that of ZnO.
We consider the Rayleigh–Taylor instability problem of two initially stationary immiscible viscous fluids positioned with the denser above the less dense in a finite circular cylinder, such that their starting fluid–fluid interface is the horizontal midplane of the cylinder. The ensuing linear instability problem has a five-dimensional parameter space – defined by the density ratio, the viscosity ratio, the cylinder aspect ratio, the surface tension between the fluids and the ratio of viscous to gravitational time scales – of which we explore only part, motivated by recent experiments where viscous fluids exchange in vertical tubes (Beckett et al., J. Fluid Mech., 2011, vol. 682, pp. 652–670). We find that for these experiments, the instability is invariably ‘side-by-side’ (of azimuthal wavenumber 1 type) but we also uncover parameter regions where the preferred instability is axisymmetric. The fact that both ‘core-annular’ (axisymmetric) and ‘side-by-side’ (asymmetric) long-time flows are seen experimentally highlights the fact that the initial Rayleigh–Taylor instability of the interface does not determine the long-time flow configuration in these situations. Finally, long-time flow solutions are presented on the basis that they will be slowly varying fingering solutions.
A 2 × 2 factorial experiment was conducted to investigate the interactions between laminarin (LAM; 0 and 300 parts per million (ppm)) and fucoidan (FUC; 0 and 240 ppm) levels on intestinal morphology, selected microbiota and inflammatory cytokine gene expression in the weaned pig. There was an interaction between LAM and FUC supplementation on the Enterobacteriaceae population (P< 0·05) and the abundance of attaching and effacing Escherichia coli (AEEC) strains (P< 0·05) in the colon. Pigs offered the FUC diet had a reduced Enterobacteriaceae population compared with pigs offered the basal diet. However, the effect of FUC on the Enterobacteriaceae population was not observed when combined with LAM. Pigs offered the LAM diet had reduced abundance of AEEC strains compared with pigs offered the basal diet. However, there was no effect of LAM on the abundance of AEEC strains when combined with FUC. There was an interaction between LAM and FUC supplementation on villous height (P< 0·01) and the villous height:crypt depth ratio (P< 0·01) in the duodenum. Pigs offered the LAM or FUC diet had an increased villous height and villous height:crypt depth ratio compared with pigs offered the basal diet. However, there was no effect of the LAM and FUC combination diet on intestinal morphology. Pigs offered the LAM-supplemented diets had a lower IL-6 (P< 0·05), IL-17A (P< 0·01) and IL-1β (P< 0·01) mRNA expression in the colon compared with pigs offered the diets without LAM. In conclusion, supplementation with either LAM or FUC alone modified intestinal morphology and selected intestinal microbiota, but these effects were lost when offered in combination.
This study was designed to evaluate the effects of algal and yeast β-glucans on the porcine gastrointestinal microbiota, specifically the community of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and coliforms. A total of 48 pigs were fed four diets over a 28-day period to determine the effect that each had on these communities. The control diet consisted of wheat and soya bean meal. The remaining three diets contained wheat and soya bean meal supplemented with β-glucan at 250 g/tonne from Laminaria digitata, Laminaria hyperborea or Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Faecal samples were collected from animals before feeding each diet and after the feeding period. The animals were slaughtered the following day and samples were collected from the stomach, ileum, caecum, proximal colon and distal colon. Alterations in Lactobacillus in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) were analysed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles generated by group-specific 16S rRNA gene PCR amplicons. Plate count analysis was also performed to quantify total coliforms. DGGE profiles indicated that all β-glucan diets provoked the emergence of a richer community of Lactobacillus. The richest community of lactobacilli emerged after feeding L. digitata (LD β-glucan). Plate count analysis revealed that the L. hyperborea (LH β-glucan) diet had a statistically significant effect on the coliform counts in the proximal colon in comparison with the control diet. β-glucan from L. digitata and S. cerevisiae also generally reduced coliforms but to a lesser extent. Nevertheless, the β-glucan diets did not significantly reduce levels of Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. DGGE analysis of GIT samples indicated that the three β-glucan diets generally promoted the establishment of a more varied range of Lactobacillus species in the caecum, proximal and distal colon. The LH β-glucan had the most profound reducing effect on coliform counts when compared with the control diet and diets supplemented with L. digitata and S. cerevisiae β-glucans.
An experiment (complete randomised design) was conducted to investigate the effects of supplementing different molecular weights (MW) of chitooligosaccharide (COS) on pig performance, selected microbial populations and nutrient digestibility post-weaning. A total of 396 weaned piglets (24 days of age, 7.3 kg ± (s.d.) 1.7 kg live weight) were assigned to one of six dietary treatments (22 replicates/treatment) for a 33-day experimental period. The dietary treatments were as follows (1) control diet (0 ppm COS), (2) control diet plus <1 kDa COS, (3) control diet plus 3 to 5 kDa COS, (4) control diet plus 5 to 10 kDa COS, (5) control diet plus 10 to 50 kDa COS and (6) control diet plus 50 to 100 kDa COS. The COS were included at 250 ppm in the diets. There was no significant effect of dietary treatment on piglet performance during the starter period (days 0 to 18; P > 0.05). However, there were quadratic responses in both daily gain (P < 0.05) and gain to feed ratio (P < 0.05) to the increased MW of COS inclusion during the weaner period (days 18 to 33) with all COS-supplemented treatments improving daily gain and gain to feed ratio compared with the control. There was a quadratic response in faecal scoring to the increased MW of COS inclusion from days 0 to 7 (P < 0.001), days 7 to 14 (P < 0.001) and during the overall experimental period (P < 0.01) with all the COS-supplemented treatments having an improved faecal score compared with the control. During the weaner period, there was a cubic response in lactic acid bacteria and Escherichia coli populations as the MW of COS increased (P < 0.05). The 5 to 10 kDa and 10 to 50 kDa COS increased lactic acid bacteria populations compared with the control, whereas lactic acid bacteria populations decreased at 50 to 100 kDa. The 5 to 10 kDa, 10 to 50 kDa and 50 to 100 kDa COS decreased E. coli populations compared with the control. There was a cubic response in the apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter (DM; P < 0.01), organic matter (OM; P < 0.01), ash (P < 0.01), nitrogen (N; P < 0.01) and gross energy (GE; P < 0.01) to the increased MW of COS inclusion during the weaner period. The 5 to 10 kDa COS had a higher apparent total tract digestibility of DM, OM, ash, N and GE in comparison to the control, whereas the apparent total tract nutrient digestibility of these nutrients decreased at 10 to 50 kDa. The current results indicate that the MW ranges of 5 to 10 kDa and 10 to 50 kDa COS decreased E. coli numbers while increasing nutrient digestibility of the diets.
An experiment (complete randomised design) was conducted to investigate the effects of supplementing different molecular weights (MW) of chitooligosaccharide (COS) on intestinal morphology, selected microbial populations, volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations and the immune status of the weaned pig. A total of 28 piglets (24 days of age, 9.1 kg (± s.d. 0.80) live weight) were assigned to one of four dietary treatments for 8 days and then sacrificed. The treatments were (1) control diet (0 ppm COS), (2) control diet plus 5 to 10 kDa COS, (3) control diet plus 10 to 50 kDa COS and (4) control diet plus 50 to 100 kDa COS. The COS was included in dietary treatments at a rate of 250 mg/kg. Tissue samples were taken from the duodenum, jejunum and ileum for morphological measurements. Digesta samples were taken from the proximal colon to measure lactobacilli and Escherichia coli populations and digesta samples were taken from the caecum and proximal colon for VFA analysis. Gene expression levels for specific cytokines were investigated in colonic tissue of the pig. Supplementation of different MW of COS had no significant effect on pig performance during the post-weaning period (days 0 to 8; P > 0.05). The inclusion of COS at all MW in the diet significantly reduced faecal scores compared with the control treatment (P < 0.01). Pigs fed the 10 to 50 kDa COS had a higher villous height (P < 0.05) and villous height : crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05) in the duodenum and the jejunum compared with the control treatment. Pigs fed the 5 to 10 kDa COS had a lower lactobacilli population (P < 0.05) and E. coli population (P < 0.05) in the colon compared with the control group. Pigs offered the 5 to 10 kDa COS had significantly lower levels of acetic acid and valeric acid compared with the control group (P < 0.05). The inclusion of different MW of COS had no significant effect on the expression of the cytokines tumour necrosis factor-α, Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and IL-10 in the gastro-intestinal tract of the weaned pig. The current results indicate that a lower MW of 5 to 10 kDa COS possessed an antibacterial activity, while the higher MW of 10 to 50 kDa was optimum for enhancing the intestinal structure.
β-Glucans have been identified as natural biomolecules with immunomodulatory activity. The first objective of the present study was to compare the effects of purified β-glucans derived from Laminariadigitata, L. hyperborea and Saccharomyces cerevisiae on piglet performance, selected bacterial populations and intestinal volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. The second aim was to compare the gene expression profiles of the markers of pro- and anti-inflammation in both unchallenged and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged ileal and colonic tissues. β-Glucans were included at 250 mg/kg in the diets. The β-glucans derived from L. hyperborea, L. digitata and S. cerevisiae all reduced the Enterobacteriaceae population (P < 0·05) without influencing the lactobacilli and bifidobacteria populations (P>0·05) in the ileum and colon. There was a significant interaction between gastrointestinal region and β-glucan source in the expression of cytokine markers, IL-1α (P < 0·001), IL-10 (P < 0·05), TNF-α (P < 0·05) and IL-17A (P < 0·001). β-Glucans did not stimulate any pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokine markers in the ileal epithelial cells. In contrast, the expression of a panel of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1α, IL-10, TNF-α and IL-17A) was down-regulated in the colon following exposure to β-glucans from all the three sources. However, the data suggest that the soluble β-glucans derived from L. digitata may be acting via a different mechanism from the insoluble β-glucans derived from L. hyperborea and S. cerevisiae, as the VFA profile was different in the L. digitata-treated animals. There was an increase in IL-8 gene expression (P < 0·05) in the gastrointestinal tract from the animals exposed to L. digitata following an LPS ex vivo challenge that was not evident in the other two treatment groups. In conclusion, β-glucans from both seaweed and yeast sources reduce Enterobacteriaceae counts and pro-inflammatory markers in the colon, though the mechanisms of action may be different between the soluble and insoluble fibre sources.