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This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 88 No. 10, p. 3327-3336
    Received: Dec 03, 2009
    Accepted: May 31, 2010
    Published: December 4, 2014

    3 Corresponding author(s):


Diets containing inulin but not lupins help to prevent swine dysentery in experimentally challenged pigs1

  1. C. F. Hansen*22,
  2. N. D. Phillips*,
  3. T. La*,
  4. A. Hernandez*,
  5. J. Mansfield*,
  6. J. C. Kim,
  7. B. P. Mullan,
  8. D. J. Hampson* and
  9. J. R. Pluske 3
  1. Animal Research Institute, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia 6150, Australia; and
    Department of Agriculture and Food, Bentley Delivery Centre, Western Australia 6983, Australia



Swine dysentery is a contagious mucohemorrhagic diarrheal disease caused by the intestinal spirochete Brachyspira hyodysenteriae that colonizes and induces inflammation of the cecum and colon. It has been reported that a diet containing chicory root and sweet lupin can prevent swine dysentery. This experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that inulin in the chicory root rather than galactans in lupins was responsible for protective effects. An experiment with a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement of treatments was undertaken using pigs fed barley- and triticale-based diets, with the main effects being protein source [185 g/kg of canola meal (decreased galactans) or 220 g/kg of lupins (greater galactans)] and inulin supplementation (0 or 80 g/kg). Forty Large White × Landrace pigs weighing 21 ± 3 kg, with 10 pigs per diet, were allowed to adapt to the diets for 2 wk, and then each pig was challenged orally 4 times with a broth culture containing B. hyodysenteriae on consecutive days. Pigs were killed when they showed clinical signs of dysentery or 6 wk postchallenge. Pigs fed diets without inulin had 8.3 times greater risk (P = 0.017) of developing swine dysentery and were 16 times more likely (P = 0.004) to have colon contents that were culture-positive for B. hyodysenteriae, compared with the pigs fed a diet with 80 g/kg of inulin. Diets containing lupins did not prevent pigs from developing clinical swine dysentery; however, inclusion of lupins or inulin or both in the diets delayed the onset of disease compared with the diet based mainly on canola meal (P < 0.05). Diet did not influence the total concentration of organic acids in the ileum, cecum, or upper and lower colon; however, the molar proportions of the organic acids were influenced (P < 0.05). Consequently the pH values in the cecum, and upper and lower colon were not influenced (P > 0.05) by diet. However the pH values of the ileal digesta were decreased in pigs fed the diet with both lupins and inulin compared with the diet containing only lupins (P < 0.05). In conclusion, this study shows that diets supplemented with highly fermentable carbohydrates from inulin protected pigs against developing swine dysentery.

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