Lallemand: Probiotics for immune system support
Probiotics are live non-pathogenic micro-organisms that are taken orally to aid in the maintenance and/or restoration of healthy gastrointestinal microbiota. Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. Boulardii CNCM I-1079 is a non colonizing, non-systemic probiotic yeast registered as a zootechnical feed additive for use in piglets and sows feed (LEVUCELL® SB, Lallemand Animal Nutrition, France). It was first isolated in 1923 from lychee fruit in Indonesia by French scientist Henry Boulard who noted that natives of the area used the skin of the fruit to treat symptoms of cholera (Vandenplas et al., 2009).
A very active research has provided interesting data on several modes of action of LEVUCELL® SB. Some areas have been widely documented, like the regulation of the intestinal microbiota through mechanisms such as oxygen consumption, the adhesion of some important pathogen receptors (Gedek et at., 1999), the production of specific proteases (Castagliuolo et al., 1999) or the maintenance of a good intestinal structure and function.
The immunoregulation properties of the Boulardii strain have opened another very exciting area of research at the highest scientific level.
CHALLENGES OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Peri-partum nutrition is essential for immune development and survival of new-born piglets. The piglet is profoundly immunodeficient at birth, and is highly dependent upon a supply of both specific and non-specific immune factors present in maternal colostrum and milk for immune protection, development and survival (Stokes et al, 2004). Immunoglobulin G is the most clinically important globulin during the first weeks of life and IgG from colostrum is absorbed over the gastrointestinal tract during the first 24 to 48 hr. postpartum (Sjaastad et al., 2012).
Weaning pigs from the sow is one of the most stressful events in the pig's life that can contribute to intestinal and immune system disfunctions that result in reduced pig health, growth, and feed intake, particularly during the first week after weaning. Acquiring active immunity is a slow process, and pigs are weaned at a time when passive immunity is declining. The magnitude and severity of this weaning crisis at the gut mucosa is dependent on how much the immune system was expanded during the pre-weaning period.
Unfortunately, the point where the production system determines the weaning age, and when the immune system is ready for weaning do not coincide, so managing the immune system for optimal disease prevention will continue to be a challenge.
The sensitivity of the immune system to mycotoxin-induced immunosuppression arises from the vulnerability of the continually proliferating and differentiating cells that participate in immune mediated activities and regulate the complex communication network between cellular and humoral components. Mycotoxin-induced immunosuppression may manifest as depressed T or B lymphocyte activity, suppressed antibody production and impaired macrophage/neutrophil effector functions. Suppressed immune function by mycotoxins may eventually decrease resistance to infectious diseases, reactivate chronic infection or reduce vaccine and therapeutic activity (I. Oswald et al, 2005).
IMMUNOREGULATION PROPERTIES OF S.C. BOULARDII
In an experiment performed in a commercial farm located in Brittany, France, 66 Large White x Landrace sows were blocked by parity and body condition 3 weeks before expected parturition. They were divided into a control group fed the regular feeding program of the farm, and a SB group, fed 5x10 10 CFU/day of S.c.Boulardii CNCM I-1079 (LEVUCELL® SB), from the start of the trial to weaning.
Feeding LEVUCELL® SB increased significantly the IgG concentration of colostrum by 21% (P<0.025) and tended to improve (+18%, P<0.08) IgA concentration in both colostrum and milk (fig. 1). Higher concentration of colostral and milk IgA suggests an improved immune protection of the piglets intestine when the probiotic is fed to the sow (D. Guillou et al, 2012).
Figure 1. Effect of LEVUCELL SB on colostrum Ig levels after farrowing.
In another experiment, 30 newly weaned barrows were transferred to the USDA Livestock Issues Research Unit and divided into 2 treatment groups: with and without the in-feed inclusion of LEVUCELL® SB (2x10 6 CFU/gr. of feed). On day 16, all piglets were dosed via indwelling jugular catheters with Lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
In S.c. Boulardii treated piglets, cumulative Average Daily Gain increased (P<0.05) by 39.9% and LPS-induced piglet mortality was reduced 20% compared with control piglets. Concomitant with these attributes, the inclusion of the live yeast resulted in a unique immune/cortisol profile distinct from control animals. Specifically, white blood cell, lymphocyte and neutrophil cell populations were elevated in LEVUCELL® SB treated animals prior to LPS administration.
Suppression of circulating cortisol concentrations (P<0.05) was observed in the probiotic treated piglets before peaking equally and subsequently returning to baseline similar to control. The concentrations of Interleukin-1β (Il-1β) (fig. 2) and Interleukin-6 in response to LPS administration were suppressed in LEVUCELL® SB treated piglets after LPS administration. Peak tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production in live yeast treated animals was greater (P<0.05) than in control piglets.
Figure 2. Effect of LEVUCELL SB supplementation on the serum Interleukin 1-beta response of pigs to a challenge with LPS.
Cumulatively, LEVUCELL® SB supplementation resulted in differential cytokine production profiles from a larger pool of immune cells while in the presence of reduced cortisol concentrations prior and during the initial response to LPS challenge. The initial suppression of cortisol production may be particularly important as it is a primary inhibitor of immune function, but the effect of the other cytokines are also to take into account, as an over-production of Il-1β has been reported to reduce appetite, while IFN-γ is an important cellular protection factor, enhancing natural antioxidant production.
Growth enhancement in weaned pigs may also occur via suppressing acute responses to pathogenic challenges and thus potentially preventing the diversion of energy away from maintaining innate and adaptive immune responses and liberating it for growth-related processes (Collier et al., 2011).
As part of this research field, Lallemand Animal Nutrition presented a study at the APSA (Australian Pig Science Association) meeting 2015. The study was done in cooperation with INRA ToxAlim, France, and University of Londrina, Brazil, and focused on the interaction between mycotoxin and yeast by examining in particular the vaccination response and small intestinal histomorphometry.
The experimental model used in the study confirmed previous findings indicating that dietary exposure to Fumonisin B1 (FB1) induces specific morphological changes, and demonstrated a negative effect on the specific antibody response.
FB1 piglets supplemented with LEVUCELL® SB reached a similar specific antibody titer than those supplemented but not under challenge after 29 days, suggesting an inhibition of a deleterious effect from FB1 (fig. 3). Interestingly, the villous height was restored (P<0.05) in both jejunum and ileum for FB1 supplemented with the probiotic compared with FB1 alone to become comparable to the control group (I.P. Oswald et al., 2015).
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Article made possible through the contribution of Lallemand Animal Nutrition