The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of Clostridium butyricum alone or in combination with Bacillus licheniformis on the growth performance, blood characteristics, and intestinal barrier function of weanling piglets. A total of 150 piglets weaned at 23 ± 2 d were randomly alloted to one of five treatments: a basal diet with antibiotics and 2250 mg ZnO/kg (Control A); a basal diet with antibiotics and 1125 mg ZnO/kg (Control B); a basal diet with 1125 mg ZnO/kg + 109 CFU/kg of Bacillus licheniformis (BL); a basal diet with 1125 mg ZnO/kg + 108 CFU/kg of Clostridium butyricum (CB); and a basal diet with 1125 mg ZnO/kg + 108 CFU/kg of Clostridium butyricum + 109 CFU/kg of Bacillus licheniformis (CB-BL).
As a result, the piglets fed with the CB and CB-BL diets exhibited an increased growth performance and a decreased incidence of diarrhea when compared to the control B treatment. Serum concentrations of total antioxidant capacity, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, IgG, IgA, and complement protein C3 were greater in the CB treatment and CB-BL treatment than in control B treatment, while the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ were reduced. Piglets fed the CB diet exhibited a greater villus height:crypt depth in the duodenum and ileum compared to the piglets in the other 4 treatments. Moreover, the CB-BL piglets exhibited greater mRNA expressions of tight junction proteins (claudin-1, occludin, zonula occludens protein-1 and zonula occludens protein-2) in the small intestine when compared to control B treatment. The intestinal barrier function expressions of zonula occludens protein-1 and zonula occludens protein-2 in both the duodenum and ileum of the piglets fed CB diet were particularly greater than those in control A treatment.
These results suggest that the addition of Clostridium butyricum alone or in combination with Bacillus licheniformis provide a potential alternative strategy to reduce the use of antibiotics and ZnO in the diets of weanling piglets.
Zong, X., Wang, T. H., Lu, Z. Q., Song, D. G., Zhao, J., & Wang, Y. Z. (2019). Effects of Clostridium butyricum or in combination with Bacillus licheniformis on the growth performance, blood indexes, and intestinal barrier function of weanling piglets. Livestock Science, 220, 137-142. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2018.12.024