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Parasitology. 2007 Jan;134(Pt 1):121-7. Epub 2006 Oct 11.

The effect of inulin on new and on patent infections of Trichuris suis in growing pigs.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Lithuanian Veterinary Academy, Tilzes 18, LT-47181 Kaunas, Lithuania.


The objective of this experiment was to investigate the potential influence of inulin on the establishment of new and patent infections of Trichuris suis in growing pigs. Two experimental diets were formulated based on barley flour with either added insoluble fibre from oat husk (Diet 1) or a pure inulin (16%) supplementation (Diet 2). Twenty-eight 10-week-old pigs were divided randomly into 4 groups (Groups 1-4) each of 7 pigs. After 3 weeks adaptation to the experimental diets all pigs were infected with a single dose of 2000 infective T. suis eggs. Group 1 was fed Diet 1 until 7 weeks post-infection (p.i.) and Group 3 until 9 weeks p.i., Group 2 was fed Diet 2 until 7 weeks p.i., Group 4 was fed Diet 1 until week 7 p.i. and was switched-over from Diet 1 to Diet 2 until week 9 p.i. Seven weeks p.i. pigs in Groups 1 and 2 were slaughtered, and pigs in Groups 3 and 4 were slaughtered at 9 weeks p.i. Trichuris suis worm burdens were determined for all pigs. Inulin-fed pigs (Group 2) exhibited an 87% reduction in EPG, compared to the pigs on standard diet (Group 1) (P < 0.0001). The number of worms recovered at week 7 p.i. from pigs on the inulin diet (Group 2) was significantly reduced by 71%, compared to the pigs on standard diet (Group 1) (P < 0.01). At week 9, worm recovery in pigs on the inulin diet switch protocol (Group 4) was reduced by 47% compared to the control pigs in Group 3 (P < 0.01). Further, the inulin-fed pigs exhibited a significant reduction in female worm fecundity and worm large intestine location was more distal compared to those from pigs on standard diet. These results demonstrate that inclusion of the highly degradable fructose polymer inulin in the diet leads to significant reductions in T. suis establishment, egg excretion, and female worm fecundity and can be used as a treatment for patent infections.

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