Author(s): Bach Knudsen KE
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Abstract As there is a risk of developing antibiotic resistance, a number of commonly-used antimicrobial growth promoters have been banned in the EU member states. This decision has put new emphasis on using the diet to control enteric bacterial infections of pigs. Dietary carbohydrates constitute a major proportion of diets for pigs, and the carbohydrate fraction has a diverse composition, with different properties in the gastrointestinal tract, some of which are of importance to gut health. Findings from different studies indicate that dietary carbohydrate composition influences the expression of swine dysentery and infection with nematode worms after experimental challenge with Brachyspira hyodesenteriae and Oesophagostumum dentatum respectively. In both cases the type, amount and physico-chemical properties of the carbohydrates entering the large intestine played an important role in the infection, and emerging data suggest a synergism between different porcine pathogens. There is also increasing evidence that the feed structure, which relates to the type of plant material in the diet and the way it is processed, can be used to reduce Salmonella prevalence at the herd level. However, it should be stressed that using the diet to manage gut health is not straightforward, since the expression of a pathogen in many cases requires the presence of other components of the commensal biota.
This article was published in Proc Nutr Soc
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research