Spray-dried porcine plasma may offer boost to piglets in mycotoxin challenge

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Immune system

Supplementing mycotoxin-contaminated feed with spray-dried porcine plasma supports immune functioning and piglet performance, say researchers.

An international team of researchers from Brazil and the US examined the effect of spray dried porcine plasma (SDPP) in the diet of piglets receiving a feed contaminated with mycotoxins. The researchers published their work in the journal of Microbial Pathogenesis​.

“The aim of this study was to evaluate whether plasma spray dried exerts beneficial effects on weight, glucose levels and hematological and immunology variables of piglets feed with diet contaminated with mycotoxins,” ​they said in the study.

The group found that piglets getting a diet with mycotoxin presence and the SDPP had better levels of leukocytes and improved weight gain compared to piglets getting a contaminated diet with no supplement.

“The present study showed ingestion of diet contaminated with elevated aflatoxins and fumonisins levels may negatively affected the white cell count and the weight gain, increasing the seric biomarkers on inflammatory response, and consequently impairs the immune system,”​ they said. “Additionally, SDPP supplementation for piglets prevents the reduction on leukocytes levels and the negative effects associated with performance, as well as minimizing the inflammatory response, demonstrating SDPP can modulate the inflammatory processes and consequently may improve the immune system due active proteins presents in SDPP.”

Why spray-dried plasma?

As developing countries see economic improvement, there is increased interest in animal proteins including meat, milk and eggs, the researchers said. But the presence of mycotoxins in feeds is considered to be an impediment in the development of swine production in some countries.

“Aflatoxin B1 is a hepatotoxic secondary metabolite produced by several fungal of Aspergillus genus, such as Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus parasiticus, and Aspergillus nomius during growth on many food and feed materials,”​ they said. “Recent research emphasize humans and domestic animals are sensitive to aflatoxins, causing acute toxicity, mutagenicity and carcinogenic effects.”

Swine are also sensitive to the mycotoxin, and it has been linked to reduced body weight, weakness, damage to the liver and kidney, reduced performance, immunosuppression and high mortality, they said.

Fumonisins are another common mycotoxin, the researcher ssaid. It also has been connected to negative production in swine, and past research with piglets and mycotoxin contaminated feed found a reduction in feed intake, feed to gain ratio and weight gain.

“Development of practical and effective strategies to reduce bioavailability is essential to avoid and/or reduce negative effects of mycotoxins-contaminated feeds in pigs, such as using spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP),” ​they said. Use of blood products in swine feed has been connected with positive immune response, improved intestinal function in pigs and better performance, they added.

Improved performance has been linked to immuno-reactive globulins and nucleotides found in the feed supplement, they said. And it has has been demonstrated to offer a hepato-protective effect in newborn piglets.

“Our hypothesis is that dehydrated pig blood plasma may exert beneficial properties for piglets feed with mycotoxin contaminated diet on performance and blood parameters,”​ they said.

Methods and materials

In the study, 24 piglets were given one of four diets for a period of 15 days, said the researchers. The diets included a control diet (group A), that diet with 6% SDPP (group B), a diet with 300 ug/kg of aflatoxins and 8,000 ug/kg of fumonisin (group C), and a diet with 300 ug/kg of aflatoxins 8,000 ug/kg of fumonisin and 6% SDPP (group D).

Piglet weight was checked and recorded every five days, they said.

Blood samples were collected and analyzed for hemoglobin concentration, leucocytes and hematocrit levels and nitrate/nitrite (NOx), they said.


A there was a difference in the hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit related to the diets fed, said the researchers.

Piglets getting the control diet had lower hemoglobin concentration and hematocrit levels than piglets getting the diet with mycotoxins, they said. Piglets getting the contaminated diet also had reduced amounts of leukocytes and monocytes.

However, piglets getting the diet with both mycotoxins and SDPP leukocyte levels did not drop, they said. But monocyte amounts did.

Piglets getting the contaminated diets also had lower weights and higher levels of NOx and C-reactive protein (CRP) when compared with animals getting the other diets, the researchers said.

The mycotoxin presence in the feed was found to reduce white cell count and weight and, by increasing the seric biomarkers connected to inflammatory response, impair the immune system, they said.

“SDPP supplementation for piglets prevents the reduction on leukocytes levels and the negative effects associated with weight gain, as well as minimizing the inflammatory response, demonstrating that SDPP can modulate the inflammatory processes and consequently may improve the immune system due active proteins presents in SDPP,” ​they said.

Source: Microbial Pathogenesis

Title: Effects of supplementation with spray-dried porcine plasma on blood variables on piglets feed with diet contaminated by mycotoxins

DOI: 10.1016/j.micpath.2017.07.028

Authors: L. Müller, A. da Silva, M. Baldissera, J. Santurio, P. Glombowsky, J. Gugel, G. Campigotto, E. Gloria, D. Paiano, G. Machado

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