Feeding the Gut Microbiome and Immune Maturation to Manage Weaned Piglets

Correa, Federico (2022) Feeding the Gut Microbiome and Immune Maturation to Manage Weaned Piglets, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10111.
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This thesis reports five studies that may contribute to understand how weaning affects the immune and intestinal microbiota maturation of the piglet and proposes some possible nutritional strategies to attenuate its negative effects. The first study showed that weaning is associated in Payer’s patches with the activation of MHC response against class I antigens and that related to the stimulation to IFN-γ and showed, for the first time, that their blood at weaning remains dominated by immature blood cells. In the second study we tested if the use of a live vaccine against a conditionally but also genetically based intestinal disease, like PWD, could have an impact on the growth performance of pigs and their intestinal microbiota and if it could provide a model to test the response to nutritional strategies under conditions of an immune and intestinal stimulation for animals susceptible to ETEC type. In this study, we demonstrated how a vaccinal strain of F4/F18 E. coli can affect the gut microbial composition of piglets, regardless of their genetic susceptibility to ETEC infection. In the third study we evidenced how a nucleotide supplementation can favor the proliferation of jejunal Peyer patches and anticipate the maturation of the fecal microbiota. In the fourth study we reported how xylanase can favor the proliferation of Lactobacillus reuteri. Finally, we showed some first results on the muscles fiber development in fast- and slow-growing suckling pigs and the relationship with the intestinal microbiota. Taken together, the results presented in this thesis provide new insight about the interplay between the host-genetics, gut microbial composition, and host physiological status. Furthermore, it provides confirmation that the use of known genetic markers for ETEC F4 and F18 could represent a potential tool to stratify the animals in the trials both in healthy or challenge-based protocols.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Correa, Federico
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Weaning; Immunity; Intestinal maturation; Microbiota; Piglet
Data di discussione
25 Marzo 2022

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