Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infection and resulting scours is a major problem for young pigs, especially when purified plant proteins are fed rather than spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP). The effect of supplementing a pea protein isolate (PPI)-based diet with egg yolk antibodies (EYA) from laying hens immunized with ETEC K88 antigen on piglet performance, incidence of scours, and gut histology was studied in a 14-d trial. Ninety-six 10-d-old weaned pigs were assigned to five dietary treatments in a completely randomized design to give six replicate pens per treatment. The treatments were PPI without EYA (PPI-EYA), PPI with EYA (PPI+EYA), SDPP without EYA (SDPP-EYA), SDPP with EYA (SDPP+EYA), or a combination of PPI and SDPP (PPI+SDPP). Diets were formulated to similar nutrient levels and provided for ad libitum intake. Blood from all pigs was taken on d 0, 7, and 14 for determining plasma urea N (PUN). On d 7, pigs were orally challenged with 6 mL of 1010 cfu/ mL ETEC K88. Piglets were weighed on d 7 and 14. On d 7, 8, and 14, four pigs per treatment were sacrificed to study the histology of the small intestine. Weekly feed intake, BW changes, and gain:feed were determined. Fecal swabs from 10 pigs per treatment were taken for a PCR test to detect K88 E. coli. Feed efficiency over the 14-d period was not affected (P > 0.78) by dietary treatment. Mean ADFI on an as-fed basis was lower (P < 0.002) in piglets fed PPI-EYA (64.3 g/d) compared with PPI+EYA (94.8 g/d) or SDPP (102 g/d) during wk 1. Piglets fed PPI-EYA tend to have a lower (P < 0.026) overall ADG (84 g/d) than those fed PPI+EYA (123 g/d) or SDPP (127 g/d) (P < 0.006)-based diets. Although scours was evident in all groups of pigs 6 h after the challenge, most of the piglets fed EYA- or SDPP-containing diets recovered 10 to 72 h postchallenge, whereas those fed PPI-EYA continued to have severe diarrhea, resulting in 33% mortality. The PCR results showed that a greater (P < 0.01) percentage of piglets fed PPI-EYA compared with those fed SDPP- or EYA-containing diets continued to shed ETEC K88 at the end of the 14-d study. Piglets fed PPI-EYA had shorter villi (P < 0.01), higher intestinal pH (P < 0.013), and higher PUN (P < 0.05) than those fed the SDPP-or EYA-containing diets during the entire 14-d study. It was concluded that specific EYA and SDPP could provide passive control of ETEC infection and potentially improve feed intake and weight gain in young pigs fed PPI.
- Early Weaning
- Escherichia coli