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Title: Non-antibiotic methods of reducing enteric disease and improving production in the young pig
Author: Hancox, Laura Ruth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6349 7456
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2017
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Correct management of gut health in the young pig is essential for a lifetime of good health and growth. With rising concerns over anti-microbial resistance, it is likely that antibiotic use will become limited in pig farming. Other methods of disease control must be implemented. The aim of this project was to investigate the effect of the yeast probiotic Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM 1-1079 (SB) on enteric health and production, and to demonstrate the effect of a cleaning and disinfection regime, particularly focusing on use of detergent, on microbial load in livestock housing. To determine the prophylactic effects of SB on neonatal porcine enteric health a single dose was administered to pigs, less than 24 hours of age, on a French commercial farm; faeces of each litter were assessed in the first week of life, and samples taken from diarrhoeic litters to determine the occurrence of group A rotavirus (GARV), Clostridium difficile and C. difficile Toxin A and B. To determine the effect of continual pre-weaning SB administration, pigs on an experimental UK unit were given daily individual SB doses from day five of life to weaning when treatment groups were mixed and transported to a commercial farm; lifetime growth and mortality were recorded. The effect of SB bolus administration to sows (in late gestation and lactation) and piglets via feed (until six weeks post weaning) was determined in a third trial on a commercial UK farm; growth, mortality and occurrence of Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) and GARV were determined. There was no significant effect of SB on growth, mortality or occurrence of ETEC, GARV or C. difficile and its toxins. However, litters receiving SB on the first day of life had significantly lower faecal scores and fewer diarrhoeic days in the first week of life. As pathogen occurrence was not different between treatment groups, the data were combined to assess the dynamics of pathogen occurrence. This study confirmed the enzootic nature of GARV and ETEC. GARV infection significantly reduced growth in the first week of life. GARV co-infected with ETEC and C. difficile, amplifying the importance of GARV, as pathogens could have an additive or synergistic effect. GARV genotypes present on a UK farm over a two year period, not related to clinical enteritis, were VP7: G2, G4, G5 and VP4: P[6], P[7], P[32j. A UK wide survey of pigs with rotavirus enteritis was undertaken; the common genotypes were the same as the single farm study (G4, G5, P[6], P[7]) suggesting that GARV strain is not the most noteworthy factor in GARV pathogenicity. A routine cleaning protocol, with or without detergent (treatment/control) was applied to pig housing. After each cleaning stage, materials were sampled and enumerated for total aerobic count (TAC) and Enterobacteriaceae (ENT). Soaking with detergent caused significantly greater reductions of TAC and ENT on metal, and TAC on concrete, compared with control. Disinfection effect was not significantly associated with prior detergent use. Disinfection significantly reduced TAC and ENT on concrete and stock board but not on metal. Twenty-four hours after disinfection TAC and ENT on metal and stock board were significantly reduced, but no reductions occurred in the subsequent 96 hours. Counts on concrete did not significantly reduce during the entire drying period (120 hours). Detergent and disinfectant have varying bactericidal effects according to the surface and bacterial target; however, both can significantly reduce microbial numbers so should be used during cleaning, with a minimum drying period of 24 hours, to lower bacterial counts effectively. In summary the results of the current project indicate a holistic approach to management of enteric health in the young pig must be taken, in which C & D must be included, and where use of SB may have an emerging role in reducing the occurrence of diarrhoea in the young pig.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available