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Anim Nutr. 2015 Sep;1(3):177-183. doi: 10.1016/j.aninu.2015.08.012. Epub 2015 Sep 2.

Impacts of low level aflatoxin in feed and the use of modified yeast cell wall extract on growth and health of nursery pigs.

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Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695, USA.


This study was to investigate the effect of corn naturally contaminated with aflatoxins (AF) under the regulatory level on the growth performance and health of nursery pigs, and the efficiency of yeast cell wall based feed additive (YC) mainly composed of β-glucans and mannan oligosaccharide (MOS) (Integral A+, Alltech, Lexington, KY) in prevention of mycotoxicosis. Pigs (60 barrows and 60 gilts at 6.02 ± 0.83 kg BW) were randomly allotted to 4 treatments in a randomized complete block design based on a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with 10 pens (5 barrow and 5 gilt pens) per treatment and 3 pigs per pen. Pigs were fed experimental diets for 5 wk. First factor was AF (0 or 20 µg/kg in feed) and the second factor was YC (0 or 2 g/kg in feed). Feed intake and body weight were measured weekly, and blood samples were used to measure blood cell counts, immunoglobulin G (IgG), tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a), oxidative damage status, and serological evaluation related to liver health. Aflatoxin decreased (P < 0.05) the number of platelet count (247.4 to 193.5 × 103/µL), and it also tended to increase the level of albumin (P = 0.055, 3.46 to 3.63 g/dL), albumin:globulin ratio (P = 0.050, 2.09 to 2.37), and Ca (P = 0.080, 10.79 to 10.97 mg/dL). Yeast cell wall based feed additive increased (P < 0.05) ADG (493 to 524 g/d), and ADFI (796 to 846 g/d) of pigs whereas G:F was not affected, and it also tended to increase (P = 0.055) albumin level (3.46 to 3.63 g/dL). Interactions (P < 0.05) on hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelet count indicated that YC further increased their levels when pigs were eating AF contaminated feed. Interactions (P < 0.05) on urea nitrogen and blood urea N to creatinine ratio indicated that YC further decreased their levels when feed were contaminated with AF. In conclusion, low level of 20 µg AF/kg under the regulatory level had minor effects on hematology without affecting growth performance, however the supplementation of 2 g/kg YC as a source of β-glucans and MOS in feed can improve feed intake and therefore the growth of pigs.


Aflatoxin; Health; MOS; Nursery pigs; modified yeast cell wall extract; β-glucans

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