Yeast derivatives (YD) based on Saccharomyces cerevisiae can improve the performance and health of piglets by stimulating the immune system and maintaining a beneficial intestinal environment. The main active components of YD are yeast cell walls such as mannanoprotein, preventing bacteria from binding to intestinal epithelial cells, and β-glucans, which can alter the inmune system, and yeast extracts such as nucleotides and peptides.The present experiment was conducted to determine the effects of YD based on brewery yeast hydrolyzate on the performance, and parameters of innate, and specific humoral immune responses in weaning piglets.One hundred and twenty pigs weaned at 25 ± 1 days and with an average body weight (BW) of 7.6±0.20kg, were allocated to 20 pens (6 piglets per pen), and were distributed into two groups. The dietary treatments included a negative control diet and the same diet supplemented with 2g YD/kg feed on top. At days 7 and 21 of the experiment, half of the piglets per group were challenged intramuscularly with 1 mL of a solution of 20% sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in sterile phosphate buffered saline (PBS). At days 0, 14, 21 and 28 of the experiment, blood samples from the challenged piglets were obtained and acute-phase proteins (Pig-MAP), natural antibodies of the IgM- and IgG-isotype binding to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), and agglutinating antibody titers to SRBC were measured. Yeast derivative inclusion improved feed conversion ratio (P=0.025) for the overall period, tended to increase IgG (P=0.087) and IgM (P=0.061) antibodies in serum-binding KLH, and increased (P=0.037) SRBC agglutination titers.
In conclusion, the results of the present study show that YD supplementation as 2 g YD/kg to weaning pigs suggests that the immune system is triggered to a more responsive state, without penalizing the animal performance, which could potentially be beneficial for overcoming disease challenges. Piglets fed with 2g YD/kg for 28 days after weaning also showed an improvement in feed conversion ratio.
F. Molist, F., van Eerden, E., Parmentier, H.K. and Vuorenmaa, J. 2014. Effects of inclusion of hydrolyzed yeast on the immune response and performance of piglets after weaning. Animal Feed Science and Technology, 195, 136-141.DOI: 10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2014.04.020