Effect of Feed Antibiotics on the Performance and Intestinal Microflora of Weanling Pigs in China

  • Li, Defa ;
  • Zang, Sumin ;
  • Li, Tongzhou ;
  • Qiao, Qingyan ;
  • Thacker, P.A. ;
  • Kim, J.H.
  • Received : 2000.03.08
  • Accepted : 2000.05.16
  • Published : 2000.11.01


Ninety-six crossbred (Large White${\times}$Landrace${\times}$Duroc) pigs, weaned at 35 days of age, were assigned to four dietary treatments in order to investigate the effects of oral antibiotics on the performance and the intestinal microflora of weanling pigs. Pigs were fed either a basal diet, without antibiotics, or the basal diet plus either 50 ppm acetylspiramycin, 50 ppm olaquindox, or 100 ppm bacitracin zinc. The pigs were housed eight per pen with three pens per treatment in an environmentally controlled nursery. Ten days after weaning, three pigs from each treatment were slaughtered and intestinal pH, microflora, and volatile fatty acid concentration were determined. At the end of the 4 week trial, the remaining pigs were weighed and feed consumption was measured. Average daily gains for pigs fed acetylspiramycin, olaquindox, bacitracin zinc and the control diet were 0.43, 0.40, 0.37, and 0.34 kg per day (p=0.001), respectively. Antibiotic addition did not modify feed intake, but acetylspiramycin improved feed conversion (p=0.003). In comparison with the control, acetylspiramycin significantly increased Bifidobacteria numbers in the jejunum (p=0.082) and ileum (p=0.014) and decreased total bacterial counts throughout the intestine (p<0.01 except for the ileum where p=0.079). Acetate production was significantly lower in the cecum (p=0.028) and colon (p=0.079) of pigs fed acetylspiramycin. In addition to increasing numbers of Bifidobacteria in the jejunum (p=0.082) and ileum (p=0.014), olaquindox increased Lactobacillus in the jejunum (p=0.004) and decreased E. coli in the colon (p=0.022). Bacitracin zinc increased Lactobacillus numbers in the jejunum (p=0.004) and Bifidobacterium concentrations in the jejunum (p=0.082) and ileum (p=0.014).


Antibiotics;Pigs;Intestinal Microflora;Performance

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