Effects of Dietary Zinc on Performance and Immune Response of Growing Pigs Inoculated with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

  • Roberts, E.S. (Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Heugten, E. van (Department of Animal Science and Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Spears, J.W. (Department of Animal Science and Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Routh, P.A. (Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Lloyd, K.L. (Department of Animal Science and Interdepartmental Nutrition Program, North Carolina State University) ;
  • Almond, G.W. (Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State University)
  • Received : 2003.12.19
  • Accepted : 2004.06.04
  • Published : 2004.10.01


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of dietary Zn level on performance, serum Zn concentrations, alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), and immune response of pigs inoculated with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome virus (PRRSv) and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. A $2{\times}4$ factorial arrangement of treatments was used in a randomized design. Factors included; 1) PRRSv and M. hyopneumoniae inoculation (n=36 pigs) or sham inoculation (n=36 pigs) with media when pigs entered the grower facility (d 0) at 9 weeks of age and 2) 10, 50, 150 ppm supplemental Zn sulfate (${ZnSO}_4$) from weaning until the completion of the study, or 2,000 ppm supplemental ${ZnSO}_4$for two weeks in the nursery and then supplementation with 150 ppm ${ZnSO}_4$for the remainder of the trial. The basal diet contained 34 ppm Zn. Pigs were weighed on d 0, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and blood samples were collected on d 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28. Pigs inoculated with PRRSv were serologically positive at d 28 and control pigs remained negative to PRRSv. In contrast, the M hyopneumoniae inoculation was inconsistent with 33.3% and 52.8% of pigs serologically positive at d 28 in the control and infected groups, respectively. A febrile response was observed for approximately one week after inoculation with PRRSv. Feed intake (p<0.01) and gain (p<0.1) were less in PRRSv infected pigs than control pigs for the 31 d study. However, performance did not differ among pigs in the four levels of ${ZnSO}_4$. Assessments of immune responses failed to provide unequivocal influence of either PRRSv inoculation or ${ZnSO}_4$level. These data suggest that PRRSv and M. hyopneumoniae act to produce some performance deficits and the influence of Zn supplementation of nursery age pigs does not have clear effect in grower pigs affected with disease.


Pigs;PRRSv;Zinc;Growth;Immune Response


Supported by : College of Veterinary Medicine Research


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