Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Nutr. 2002 Nov;41 Suppl 1:I26-31.

Effects of lactulose on the intestinal microflora of periparturient sows and their piglets.

Author information

Institute for Bacteriology and Mycology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 29, Germany.


The periparturient period of animals (and humans) is very stressful and influenced by the microecosystem of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Performance and productivity of animal husbandry depend on the health of animal mothers and their offspring. We investigated the influence of prebiotic amounts of lactulose in sows and their piglets. Two experimental trial sows received daily 30 ml lactulose, 71 field trial sows received daily 45 ml lactulose during their periparturient period (10 days before until 10 days after parturison). The weaners of trial sows received 15 ml lactulose per 1 kg baby food 10 days before and 10 days after weaning.The effect of lactulose was recorded by performance parameters like number of piglet born alive, losses until weaning, body mass of piglets, daily weight gain of weaners until 35 days after weaning. The effect of lactulose on GIT microflora was estimated by bacterial counts of faeces of sows (total aerobic bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, Clostridium (C.) perfringens). In order to show a previously unknown effect of lactulose we investigated the levels of antibodies to phospholipase C (PLC) of C. perfringens in plasma of experimental sows and in colostral and ripe milk of field sows. Lactulose influenced the performance parameters of sows in a non-significant way. In case of weaners we recorded significant daily weight gains. Lactulose significantly influenced total aerobic bacterial counts, C. perfringens counts in faeces of sows 20 days after parturison. Under experimental conditions it was shown that trial sows and their piglets had higher IgG-antibody levels to C. perfringens PLCs than the control animals. Similar results were found under field conditions. Trial sows had significant higher IgG-anti LPS (J5) antibodies in milk 10 days after birth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center