Gut balance booster as a viable alternative to antibiotic growth promoter in swine production: evaluation of the effects on growth and health parameters
The use of antimicrobials as growth promoters (AGPs) in food-producing animals (FPAs) may facilitate the development and spread of antimicrobial-resistance bacteria (ARB), which threatens food safety and public health. Gut balance booster (GBB) improves gut health and growth/weight gain in FPAs without aiding the emergence of ARB. This 10-week study evaluated the effects of graded levels of GBB on growth and health parameters of weanling pigs following standard procedures. Thirty-six Large White X Landrace piglets, aged six weeks, were randomly assigned into four treatment groups (A-D) of nine piglets. Each treatment was replicated thrice with three piglets per replicate. They were fed diets A-D respectively. While diet-A was the control (no GBB), diets B, C and D were supplemented at 1.00 kg/ton, 2.00 kg/ton and 3 kg/ton, respectively. Results showed that daily feed intake and weight gain were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in supplemented groups and group-B had highest final weight gain. The GBB supplementation had no significant (p > 0.05) effect on total lipid profile but low-density-lipoprotein was significantly (p < 0.05) lower in group-B. The supplementation increased packed cell volume, total leucocyte and lymphocyte counts and humoral immune performance. The treatment diets also significantly reduced serum levels of Alanine aminotransferase and Aspartate aminotransferase, suggesting the hepatoprotective effect. Diet-B had more positive effects on production and health parameters assessed, indicating that GBB supplementation at 1.00 kg/ton could safely and effectively replace AGPs in pig production; and hence limits dissemination of ARB and its associated public health problems.
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