Effects of dietary supplementation of selenium-enriched probiotics on production performance and intestinal microbiota of weanling piglets raised under high ambient temperature

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Abstract

Summary

This study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of selenium-enriched probiotics (SeP) on production performance and intestinal microbiota of piglets raised under high ambient temperature. Forty-eight cross-bred weanling piglets (28 days old), randomly allotted into 12 pens (four piglets/pen) and four dietary treatments (three pens/treatment group), were fed ad libitum for 42 days a basal diet (Con) or the basal diet supplemented with probiotics (Pro), sodium selenite (ISe) or a SeP preparation. Blood and faecal samples were collected on days 0, 14, 28 and 42 post-treatment. The SeP group had higher final BW (p < 0.05), greater ADG (p < 0.05) and lower FCR (p < 0.01) than the Pro, ISe or Con group. The diarrhoea incidence rate of either SeP or Pro group was lower (p < 0.01) than the ISe or Con group. Blood Se concentration and GSH-Px activity were both higher (p < 0.01) in the SeP than in the Pro, ISe or Con group. On days 28 and 42, the serum concentrations of T3 were higher (p < 0.01) and T4 lower (p < 0.01) in the SeP than in the ISe group, and the T3 and T4 concentrations in the ISe group, in turn, were higher (p < 0.05) and lower (p < 0.01), respectively, than in the Pro or Con group. Also on days 28 and 42, the faecal counts of lactobacillus bacteria were higher (p < 0.01) while Escherichia coli lower (p < 0.01) in the SeP or Pro group as compared to the ISe or Con group. The results of RFLP showed that the faecal microbial flora in the SeP group changed the most (numerically) as compared to the Pro or ISe group. These results suggest that the SeP product may serve as a better alternative to antibiotics than the solo probiotics for using as a growth promoter for weanling piglets.

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