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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 1999 Apr;23(4):283-8.

Passive protective effect of egg-yolk antibodies against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli K88+ infection in neonatal and early-weaned piglets.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


The protective effects of egg-yolk antibodies obtained from hens immunized with fimbrial antigens from a local strain (Escherichia coli K88+ MB, Manitoba, Canada) of K88+ piliated enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) were evaluated in 3- and 21-day-old piglets in which ETEC diarrhea was induced and also in early-weaned piglets in a commercial farm. The results demonstrated that the E. coli K88+ MB-induced diarrhea in 3-day-old piglets was cured 24 h after treating with egg-yolk antibodies while those treated with egg-yolk powder from conventional hens continued to have diarrhea and 62.5% of them died of severe diarrhea. For 21-day-old weaned piglets, those fed egg-yolk antibodies had transient diarrhea, positive body weight gains and 100% survival during the period of the experiment, whereas control piglets that were treated with placebo had severe diarrhea and dehydration and some died within 48 h after infection. In the field trial, the incidence and severity of diarrhea of 14-18-day-old weaned piglets fed egg-yolk antibodies were much lower than in those fed a commercial diet containing an antibiotic. These results indicate that the neonatal and early-weaned piglets that received the egg-yolk antibodies were protected against ETEC infection.

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