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This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 91 No. 12, p. 5668-5679
    Received: Mar 19, 2013
    Accepted: Oct 02, 2013
    Published: November 24, 2014

    4 Corresponding author(s):


Dietary plant extracts improve immune responses and growth efficiency of pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus1

  1. Y. Liu*,
  2. T. M. Che*22,
  3. M. Song*33,
  4. J. J. Lee*,
  5. J. A. S. Almeida*,
  6. D. Bravo,
  7. W. G. Van Alstine and
  8. J. E. Pettigrew 4
  1. Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
    Pancosma SA, Geneva, Switzerland
    School of Veterinary Medicine, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN


A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of 3 different plant extracts on growth performance and immune responses of weaned pigs experimentally infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV). A total of 64 weaned pigs (7.8 ± 0.3 kg BW), free of PRRSV, were randomly allotted to 1 of 8 treatments in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement with a randomized complete block design. Pigs were blocked by initial BW. Sex and ancestry were equalized across treatments. The first factor was with or without PRRSV challenge (intranasal dose; 105 50% tissue culture infective dose). The second factor was represented by 4 diets: a nursery basal diet (CON), 10 mg/kg capsicum oleoresin (CAP), garlic botanical (GAR), or turmeric oleoresin (TUR). Pigs were housed in disease containment chambers for 28 d [14 d before and after the inoculation (d 0)]. Blood was collected on d 0, 7, and 14 to measure the total and differential white blood cells (WBC), and serum was collected to measure viral load by quantitative PCR, PRRSV antibody titer, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), IL-1β, C-reactive protein (CRP), and haptoglobin (Hp) by ELISA. In the unchallenged group, all piglets were PRRSV negative during the overall period postinoculation. All data were analyzed using PROC MIXED of SAS. The PRRSV challenge decreased (P < 0.01) ADG, ADFI, and G:F from d 0 to 14. Feeding TUR improved G:F of the PRRSV-infected pigs from d 0 to 14. The numbers of WBC and neutrophils were decreased (P < 0.05) by PRRSV on d 7 but increased (P < 0.05) by PRRSV on d 14, indicating the PRRSV-infected pigs undergo a stage of weak immune responses. Feeding GAR increased (P < 0.05) B cells and CD8+ T cells of PRRSV-infected pigs compared with the CON. Furthermore, the PRRSV challenge increased (P < 0.05) serum viral load, TNF-α, and IL-1β on d 7 and serum viral load, CRP, and Hp on d 14, but feeding plant extracts to PRRSV-infected pigs reversed (P < 0.05) this increase. Infection with PRRSV increased (P < 0.05) rectal temperature of pigs on d 7, 9, and 11, but PRRSV-infected pigs fed plant extracts had lower rectal temperature (P < 0.05) than pigs fed the CON, indicating feeding plant extracts delayed the fever caused by PRRSV infection. In conclusion, results indicate that supplementation with plant extracts reduces the adverse effects of PRRSV by improving the immune responses of pigs, and the 3 plant extracts tested here show different effects. Supplementation with TUR improved feed efficiency of pigs challenged with PRRSV.

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Copyright © 2013. American Society of Animal Science