The newborn piglet gets Trygge®before birth Immunoglobulins which protect against various diseases are transmitted in part to the fetus through the uterine cake of most mammals. The pig is an exception and give their offspring this protection through the colostrum. All adult animals have levels of protein AF, however in various amounts. In pigs, these are transferred to fetuses. Studies have shown that sows whose piglets get diarrhoea have lower AF-levels in their blood, and hence in milk, than sows whose piglets do not get diarrhoea. Since gilts are least protected, the risk of piglet diarrhoea is greatest here. Contacts have been established with herds who have piglets with diarrhoea and tests are made with SPC in the feed given to the gilts before farrowing.
A large number of Swedish pigs are now weaned with a feed that induces AF, thus reducing the effects of both invisible (subclinical) and visible (clinical) diarrhoea.
The interest for Trygge®and AF has increased after the EU ban on antibiotics Antibiotics as growth-promoting substance in animal feed was banned in the EU in 2006, hence 20 years later than in Sweden. In other parts of the world antibiotic agents are still used in all feed. Also in these areas there are ongoing discussions about the risks of resistant bacteria, which in all likelihood will lead to a ban.
There is a noticeable difference in the interest of the AF-concept after the ban on antibiotics in the EU. This despite the fact that there are lots of different products that claim to be able to replace antibiotics. Common to all these additives is that their efficacy is poorly documented or that the existing documentation is not showing effects. The strength of the AF-concept is the good scientifical documentation and the vast number of clinical studies conducted in animals, as well as in humans.
Milk fever or MMA (mastitis-metritis-agalactia syndrome) is a common and costly complication of sows at farrowing. One can distinguish between the acute condition with obvious signs of disease and the subacute form (hypoagalactia) where the sow's milk production is affected more or less. The latter is difficult to detect, and is reflected in reduced growth of the piglets, higher mortality and higher incidence of piglet diarrhoea. The subacute form is probably more expensive than the acute form, which is detected quickly and treated with medicines. The interesting question is whether it is possible to influence the risk of milk fever in sows by feeding an AF-inducing food. The question is interesting because clinical trials in women show significantly lower incidence of mastitis.
There have been several studies since the late 1980s with the SPC-feed given to pigs. Most of these studies are made in Sweden and they have clearly demonstrated that this feed both reduces the incidence of diarrhoea and increases pig growth.
Since there is a large international interest in finding alternatives to animal feed with antibiotics, there are studies ongoing abroad. An Italian research team has recently highlighted a study that also shows that AF-inducing cereals have both antisecretory and anti-inflammatory properties.
Please find below some study references:
McEwan, Schousboe and Skadhauge, Effect of antisecretory factor on Escherichia coli Sta enterotoxin-induced alkalinisation of pig jejunal acid microclimate , Pflügers Arch , 1990; 417:174-179 see link
McEwan, Schousboe and Skadhauge, Influence of Age on Antisecretory Factor Inhibition of Enterotoxin Action in the Pig Small Intestine, J Vet Med A 38, 1991:222-228 see link.
Göransson, Martinsson, Lange and Lönnroth, Feed-induced Lectins in Piglets, J Vet Med B 40, 1993:478-484see link
Göransson, Lange and Lönnroth, Post weaning diarrhea: focus on diet, Pig News and Information, Vol 16, No 3,1995:89N-91N
Bolduan, Schuldt and Hackl, Diet feeding in weaner piglets, Arch Tierz, Dummerstorf 40, Sonderheft, 1997:95-100
Garnsworthy and Wiseman, Alternatives to Antibiotics – The Influence of New Feeding Strategies for Pigs on Biology and Performance, Recent Developments in Pig Nutrition 3, Nottingham University Press, 2001
Ulgheri, Grilli, Rossi and Piva, Effect of hydrothermally processed cereals on performance of weaned piglets, Livestock Science, Vol 134, Issue 1, 2010:166-168 see link