Dietary lactoferrin supplementation to gilts during gestation and lactation improves pig production and immunity

Marefa Jahan, Susie Kracht, Yen Ho, Ziaul Haque, Birendra N. Bhattachatyya, Peter C. Wynn, Bing Wang

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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Lactoferrin (LF), a sialylated iron-binding glycoprotein, performs multiple beneficial functions including modulating immunity and improves neurodevelopment, health and growth performance. Maternal LF intervention for gilts (first parity sows) on the performance of gilts and their offspring remains unknown. In the current study gilts were fed with a commercial pig feed supplemented with 1g LF /day (treatment group) or 1g milk casein/day (control group) from day 1 post mating throughout pregnancy and lactation for about 135 days. The milk production and body weight gain was monitored. The immunoglobulin concentrations in the serum of gilts and piglets were measured using ELISA. Our study showed that maternal LF supplementation to the gilt (1) significantly increased milk production at different time points (day 1, 3, 7 and 19) of lactation compared to the control (p<0.001); (2) significantly increased body weight gain of their piglets during the first 19 days of life compared to the control group (p<0.05); (3) tended to increase pregnancy rate, litter size and birth weight, number of piglets born alive, and decrease the number of dead and intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) piglets; (4) significantly increased the concentration of serum IgA in gilt and serum sIgA in piglet (p<0.05). In summary, maternal Lf intervention in gilts can improve milk production, pig production and serum IgA and sIgA levels, and therefore plays a key role in shaping the performance of their progeny.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0185817
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2017

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