Lallemand Animal Nutrition R&D team recently participated in the 13th Digestive Physiology of Pigs (DDP) Congress, in Kliczków, Poland. Around 400 people, mostly international researchers, attended this highly-regarded scientific event. This was the opportunity for Lallemand Animal Nutrition to establish its position in swine nutrition and confirm the company’s commitment to drive animal research forward. Two studies, conducted in partnership with IFIP (French Swine Institute) were presented during poster sessions. These studies bring tools and answers to the field of pig nutrition and help better understand and back up the role and effects of our antioxidant and probiotic solutions.

The first study focuses on building an effective model of oxidative stress in weaned piglet, since weaning is a key stressful period in swine production. This model was then validated with an antioxidant supplementation: vitamin E, organic selenium ALKOSEL® and superoxide dismutase (SOD)-rich melon pulp concentrate MELOFEED®. It was shown that heat stress and vaccination, used as stress triggers, were associated to different specific biomarkers of oxidative stress. Both were linked to reduced zootechnical performance. The antioxidant combination supplementation had a positive effect on stress biomarkers and performance. This oxidative stress model received much interest from participants at the symposium and will certainly prove useful in the future to evaluate nutritional strategies to prevent or limit oxidative stress. The study also further confirms the interest of appropriate antioxidant strategies during stress periods.

The second study is aimed at better describing the sow’s digestive microflora. While increasing data suggest that rearing practices and feed composition have a strong impact on sow and piglet productivity and welfare through modulation of the sow’s gut microbial populations, the sow microbiota structure and functions are still poorly known. This study presents the first description of both bacterial and archaeal taxonomic composition along the sow gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Lallemand Animal Nutrition microbiology experts applied high throughput DNA sequencing techniques in order to assess the abundance, diversity and richness of bacteria and archaea populations in the different compartments of the sow GIT. It was concluded that repartition of bacteria and archaea differed along the sow GIT, probably linked with substrate availability and physico-chemical conditions. More needs to be elucidated, in particular through functional studies of the various microbial populations and the impact of dietary and physiological factors. However, this study already suggests that, contrarily to what is often admitted, fecal microflora may be not so representative of microbial ecosystem in the colon. This kind of studies will also be very valuable to better understand the effects and modes of action of probiotics solutions.

Organized every third year since 1979, DDP symposium presents the most cutting-edge research in digestive physiology of the pig as well as some very applied research efforts related to proper research methodologies, intestinal health, and nutrient digestion/absorption.