12 Sep 2022

Post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. Reducing its incidence through nutrition

The presence of excess protein in piglet diets generates a favorable environment for the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria which increases the onset of diarrhea. Nutritional strategies that can help mitigate this productive challenge represent a very significant tool.

Post-weaning diarrhea in piglets. Reducing its incidence through nutrition

Post-weaning diarrhea in piglets, and how to reduce its incidence? 

The article Influence of the level of protein in the diet of pigs, mentioned the advantages of reducing the total content of crude protein in pig diets, without dwelling on a particular category.

This installment aims to review the benefits of reducing of the total amount of crude protein in  weaned piglets, without neglecting the adequate supply of amino acids.

 

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At weaning, feed is modified from liquid form (milk) to solids, accompanied by environmental, morphological and microbial changes within the piglet’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These changes are often associated with a high incidence of diarrhea during the post-weaning period.

Post-weaning

Antimicrobial inclusion in feed has been widely implemented as an effective measure for the prevention of post-weaning diarrhea. However, the emergence of antimicrobial resistance sparked global concern regarding the negative effects associated with subtherapeutic antibiotic use. As a result, a ban on the use of antibiotics in feed was introduced in Europe in 2006 while the World Health Organization (WHO) published its Global Action Plan on AMR in 2015.

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Therefore, it is essential to look for alternative nutritional strategies that help prevent post-weaning diarrhea. One of these is the reduction of crude protein (CP) in weaned piglets’ diets. Considering that undigested proteins and amino acids found within the small intestine are fermented by intestinal microbiota and this scenario leads to the onset of diarrhea.

Post-weaning Numerous metabolites are produced from protein fermentation within the large intestine. Such as: branched-chain fatty acids, sulfur-containing bacterial metabolites (such as methanethiol, hydrogen sulfide), aromatic compounds (phenolic compounds, indolic compounds), polyamines and ammonia.



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