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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Oct;89(4):678-86.

Extrusion of wheat or sorghum and/or addition of exogenous enzymes to pig diets influences the large intestinal microbiota but does not prevent development of swine dysentery following experimental challenge.

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Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA, Australia.


A study was made of dietary influences on the large intestinal microbiota of pigs and on the incidence of swine dysentery (SD) after experimental infection with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae, the aetiological agent of SD. Animals were fed diets based either on wheat (expts 1 and 2) or sorghum (expt 2). Grains were ground and fed either raw or after high temperature and pressure extrusion and/or after addition of exogenous enzymes to the whole diet to reduce the starch and soluble non-starch polysaccharides available for fermentation in the large intestine. Limiting fermentation creates conditions that apparently reduce the incidence of SD after infection with B. hyodysenteriae. The diets were fed to weaned pigs for 4-6 weeks, then half the animals on each diet were killed and gut samples collected for microbiology. The treatments had little effect on bacterial numbers. In expt 1, dietary extrusion of wheat reduced lactobacilli in the large intestine. Addition of enzymes to extruded wheat-based diets in expt 2 reduced facultative anaerobes and increased non-sporing anaerobes. Addition of enzymes to a raw sorghum diet in expt 3 decreased numbers of facultative anaerobes, while extrusion of sorghum increased total anaerobes. Bacteroides spp. and Fusobacterium spp., which act in synergy with B. hyodysenteriae in SD, were isolated at a higher percentage in pigs fed the untreated wheat diet than in pigs fed the treated wheat diets. Following experimental infection the incidence of SD amongst pigs fed treated wheat diets was slightly lower than those fed the untreated diet, but with sorghum-based diets the opposite was found. Overall, the different dietary treatments used did not significantly reduce SD.

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