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Meta-Analysis of Feed Intake and Growth Responses of Growing Pigs after a Sanitary Challenge

3 October 2012, at 12:00am

Researchers at INRA in France used published papers to examine the effects on growth rate and feed intake of pigs following digestive bacterial infections, poor housing conditions, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenges, mycotoxicoses, parasitic infections and respiratory diseases. They found that all the challenges resulted in a reduction in the performance parameters and, following digestive bacterial infections and mycotoxin ingestion, the pigs did not fully recover during the experimental period.

Sanitary challenges negatively affect feed intake and growth, leading to a negative impact on animal well-being and economic losses, according to H. Pastorelli and colleagues at INRA in Saint-Gilles, France.

In their paper published recently in the journal, Animal, they explain that the aim of this study was to carry out a meta-analysis to quantify the dynamic feed intake and growth responses of growing pigs after a sanitary challenge.

A database was constructed using 122 published experiments reporting the average daily feed intake (ADFI) and the average daily gain (ADG) of pigs subjected to one of six sanitary challenges: digestive bacterial infections, poor housing conditions, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenges, mycotoxicoses, parasitic infections and respiratory diseases.

The responses to experimental challenges were calculated relative to that of a control group. Statistical analyses were carried out for each challenge to quantify the mean and the dynamic responses in feed intake and growth and to identify the basis of the reduction in growth (i.e. reduction in feed intake or reduction in feed efficiency related to changes in maintenance requirements).

All challenges resulted in a reduction in ADFI and ADG, with the strongest responses for mycotoxicoses, respiratory diseases and digestive bacterial infections (eight per cent to 23 per cent reduction in ADFI and 16 per cent to 29 per cent reduction in ADG).

The reduction in ADG was linearly related to the reduction in ADFI for digestive bacterial infections, LPS challenge, parasitic infections and respiratory diseases. For poor housing conditions and mycotoxicoses, the relationship was curvilinear.

A 10 per cent reduction in ADFI resulted in a reduction in ADG varying from 10 per cent for mycotoxicoses to 43 per cent for digestive bacterial infections.

More than 70 per cent of the reduction in ADG could be explained by the reduction in ADFI for mycotoxicoses, LPS challenge and respiratory diseases.

For challenges associated with the gastrointestinal tract, a large part of the reduction in ADG was due to an increase in maintenance requirements, suggesting digestive and metabolic changes. A dynamic pattern in the reduction in feed intake and growth rate could be identified for digestive bacterial infections, mycotoxicoses and respiratory diseases.

For digestive bacterial infections and mycotoxicoses, pigs did not fully recover from the challenge during the experimental period.

The results of this study can be used to quantify the effects of a sanitary challenge in growth models of pigs, concluded Pastorelli and colleagues.

Reference

Pastorelli H., J. van Milgen, P. Lovatto and L. Montagne. 2012. Meta-analysis of feed intake and growth responses of growing pigs after a sanitary challenge. Animal, 6(6):952-961.

Further Reading

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October 2012
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Mycotoxins in swine feed

Pigs are considered highly susceptible to mycotoxin contamination, with young animals and female breeders being the most sensitive groups. Mycotoxin can cause clinical symptoms or subclinical decreasing animal performance leading to great economic losses.

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