Research Article
Volume 6 Issue 2 - 2021
A Pilot Study: Gestating Sow Nutrition and Environment Impacts Piglet Immune Responsiveness to Weaning Stress
Kyle L Granger1 and Janeen L Salak-Johnson1,2*
1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, USA
2Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Oklahoma State University, USA
*Corresponding Author: Janeen L Salak-Johnson, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA.
Received: December 10, 2020; Published: January 19, 2021


The primary objective was to determine the effects of feeding gestating sows different dietary fibers and housing them in pens with individual feeding places on their progeny's immune and endocrine responses to weaning stress at days 7 and 14 after weaning. Before weaning, forty-two piglets were selected based on body weight. The two heaviest and two lightest piglets per litter were used. These piglets were born to sows fed fiber diets modified with either 30% wheat middlings and 15% soybean hulls (MID-SOY) or 30% distillers dried grains with soluble and 30% corn germ meal (DDGS-GM) and housed in pens (9 sows/pen) equipped with feeding places that were made from barriers of either 58.4 cm (short) or 203.2 cm (long) in length. Piglets were weaned at 19 ± 2 d-of-age. Blood samples were obtained at 24-h before and 7 and 14 days after weaning, equivalent to 20, 28, and 35 days-of-age. Cortisol and aspects of both innate and adaptive immunity were measured. Pigs' immune status was affected by the dam’s gestation diet, especially T-cell and B-cell proliferation, total IgG and cortisol. Pigs born to MID-SOY-fed sows had a greater T-cell response and were suppressed less by weaning stress, whereas the pigs born to DDGS-GM-fed sows had greater B-cell response, but this measure was dramatically suppressed at 7 and 14 days post-wean. Total IgG and cortisol were also differentially affected by the sow gestation diet. These data reveal that it is plausible that sows' gestation diet can modulate pigs' immune status and immune responsiveness to weaning stress 7 and 14 days post-wean. The type of fiber-fed to the sows can differentially skew the immune balance toward either a cell-mediated or humoral response.

Keywords: Cortisol; Prenatal Experience; Sows; Stress; Weaning


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Citation: Kyle L Granger and Janeen L Salak-Johnson. “A Pilot Study: Gestating Sow Nutrition and Environment Impacts Piglet Immune Responsiveness to Weaning Stress”. EC Veterinary Science 6.2 (2021): 03-10.

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