Based on previously performed in vitro studies, which showed that hulless barley varieties could reduce large intestinal Salmonella typhimurium var. copenhagen proliferation in pigs, two in vivo experiments were conducted to prove these observations. In Experiment (Exp.) 1, 126 weaning piglets were randomly allocated into pens of seven animals each and fed one of six experimental diets. Three diets contained (75% as-fed) one of three hulless barley varieties with β-glucan (BG) contents ranging from 5 to 11% and amylose from 5 to 40%, and two diets contained a low BG and amylose hulless barley supplemented with isolated barley BG or raw potato starch. A hulled barley diet served as a control. Two piglets per pen (‘‘Trojan’’ pigs) were orally infected with Salmonella typhimurium var. copenhagen (ST). The remaining five pigs per pen were designated ‘‘Contact’’ pigs. The ST shedding was determined over one week after infection. On day 6, the two Trojans and two random Contacts from each pen were euthanised and intestinal contents and mesenteric lymph nodes cultured for ST. Intestinal volatile fatty acids and microbial composition were determined. In Exp. 2, a total of 126 piglets were assigned to one of three diets based on hulled or hulless barleys. The timeline, infection, sampling and analyses were similar as in Exp. 1 except, for sample collection as there were taken only four Contact pigs.
Hulless barley varieties with high BG and amylose tended to decrease ST persistence in Exp. 1. Clostridia from cluster I in the colon were reduced (P < 0.05) with high amylose hulless barley (8.03 log copies/g digesta) or diets supplemented with potato starch (7.90 log copies/g digesta), whereas other microbial groups were not. Propionate increased (P < 0.05) and acetate decreased (P < 0.05) with hulless barley inclusion. Exp. 2 revealed a reduced ST shedding and reduced number of Clostridia for high BG hulless barley as compared to common hulled barley and a low BG variety (P < 0.05).
In conclusion, high BG hulless barley do not prevent ST colonisation but might help to reduce transmission in pigs, likely by supporting an intestinal environment limiting growth of this zoopathogen.
R Piepera, J Bindellea, G Malika, J Marshalla, BG Rossnageld, P Letermee, AG Van Kessela. 2012. Influence of different carbohydrate composition in barley varieties on Salmonella typhimurium var. copenhagen colonisation in a ‘‘Trojan’’ challenge model in pigs. Archives of Animal Nutrition, 66(3): 163-179. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1745039X.2012.676814.