Objective: The effects of an early-life dietary supplementation with short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS) on immune response and growth performance of pigs from birth to slaughter were evaluated. The hypothesis was that scFOS have long-term effects on immune response, and growth performance. Methods: One hundred and twenty-nine sows received a control diet (CTRL, 10 g/d maltodextrins) or a diet supplemented with scFOS (10 g/d) from d 109 of gestation to the weaning of the piglets. After weaning, the piglets of each litter were divided into two groups to receive the CTRL or the scFOS diet (1.2 g/d maltodextrin or scFOS) during the pre-starter period. At 53 and 74 d of age, the piglets were vaccinated against Influenza. Performance of sows and composition of colostrum were measured. Blood serum of the piglets was sampled one d prior vaccination, at d 74 and 95 to measure Influenza-IgG levels. The growth parameters of the piglets were recorded from birth to slaughter. Results: Supplementation of the sows with scFOS decreased farrowing duration (p=0.012), colostrum fat content (p=0.006) and increased IgG content in colostrum of sows with parity of 4 or higher (p=0.006) without modifying the performance of suckling piglets. Back fat thickness at weaning tended to be higher in supplemented sows (p=0.091). Diet with scFOS improved growth performance during the breeding period, resulting in reduced feeding time needed to reach a 120 kg body weight at slaughter. Piglets fed scFOS had higher Influenza-IgG titer (p=0.05) after vaccination against Influenza virus.
E Apper, C Meymerit, JC Bodin, F Respondek, A Wagner