An experiment was conducted to determine if dietary inclusion of distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS), soybean hulls, or soybean hulls sprayed with an egg-based, polyclonal antibody product would reduce the incidence or severity of infection, or both, in growing pigs after a Lawsonia intracellularis challenge. One hundred 17-d-old weaned pigs were blocked by sex, ancestry, and BW, and randomly allotted to 1 of 5 treatment groups: negative control, unchallenged, corn-soy diet; positive control, challenged, cornsoy diet; 20% DDGS diet (D), challenged; 5% soybean hulls diet (SH), challenged; and SH sprayed with a polyclonal antibody product diet, challenged. Challenged pigs were orally inoculated with 6.4 × 108 L. intracellularis organisms after a 4-wk prechallenge feeding period. On d 21 postchallenge, pigs were euthanized, lesions of intestinal mucosa were evaluated, and ileal tissue samples were analyzed by immunohistochemistry to determine the presence and proliferation rate of L. intracellularis. Challenging pigs with L. intracellularis reduced growth rate, feed intake, and efficiency of gain (P < 0.02) and increased the proportion of internal organ weights relative to BW (P < 0.01). Dietary treatment did not affect growth performance pre- or postchallenge (P > 0.10). Heart, empty stomach, and liver weights were similar among dietary treatments (P > 0.10). Weight of the large intestine as a percentage of BW was increased in D and SH pigs compared with positive control pigs (P < 0.05). Lesion length, prevalence, and severity, and fecal shedding of L. intracellularis were primarily unaffected by dietary treatment (P > 0.10), although ileal lesion length and severity observed tended to be greater in the SH sprayed with polyclonal antibody product diet vs. the D pigs (P < 0.10). Results from a previous study indicated that diet composition may affect length, severity, and prevalence of lesions caused by L. intracellularis in growing pigs subjected to a moderate challenge. However, beneficial results were not observed by feeding the dietary treatments used in this study.
- Distillers dried grain with solubles
- Polyclonal antibody
- Soybean hull