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This article in

  1. Vol. 80 No. 7, p. 1939-1946
    Received: July 05, 2002
    Accepted: Jan 16, 2002

    7 Corresponding author(s):


Effects of a Quillaja saponaria extract on growth performance and immune function of weanling pigs challenged with Salmonella typhimurium1

  1. J. L. Turner23,
  2. S. S. Dritz4,
  3. J. J. Higgins5,
  4. K. L. Herkelman6 and
  5. J. E. Minton27
  1. Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506


Ninety-six pigs (initially 8.9 kg and 24 d of age) were used in a 28-d experiment to determine the effects of Quillaja saponaria extract (QS) on weanling pig growth performance and immune function in response to enteric disease challenge with Salmonella typhimurium (ST). Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 4 factorial with main effects of disease challenge (control vs ST-challenge) and dietary addition of QS (0, 125, 250, or 500 mg/kg). Pigs were fed QS diets for 14 d and then challenged orally with ST or sterile media. There were no differences in ADG or ADFI among dietary treatments, but gain/feed ratio (G/F) was depressed (P < 0.06) in pigs fed 250 mg/kg QS. ST-challenge reduced ADG (P < 0.05), ADFI (P < 0.05), and G/F (P < 0.05) 1 wk after challenge. Daily estimates revealed reductions in feed intake in ST-infected pigs on d 2 to 5 following infection (P < 0.05), and rectal temperature was increased maximally 2 d following infection (P < 0.05). There was a marked decline in serum IGF-I during the 6 d after ST-infection (P < 0.05). ST-challenge produced a rise (P < 0.05) in serum haptoglobin on d 7 after challenge, and serum α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) in ST-challenged pigs also was elevated (P < 0.05) above controls on d 7 and 14 after challenge. Serum immunoglobulin (Ig) M increased (P < 0.05) over time in both groups, and serum IgM of ST-challenged pigs was greater than controls on d 7 after challenge (P < 0.05). Serum IgG was not affected by enteric disease challenge; however, on d 7 and 14 after disease challenge, serum IgG for both groups was greater (P < 0.05) than on d 0. Dietary QS had no significant influence on any of the end points used to characterize the acute phase response to ST-challenge. Phagocytic cell function was depressed in pigs fed 250 (P < 0.05) and 500 (P < 0.05) mg/kg as compared to pigs fed 125 mg/kg QS. Yet, there was no difference in phagocytic function among pigs fed 0, 250, or 500 mg/kg QS. We conclude that this model of enteric disease invokes an acute phase response accompanied by decreases in feed intake and serum IGF-I. Furthermore, dietary QS, at the levels fed in this study, appears to offer little benefit to growth performance or immune function in the presence or absence of ST-challenge.

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Copyright © 2002. Copyright 2002 Journal of Animal Science