The impact of a diet with fructan-rich chicory roots on Oesophagostomum dentatum worm population dynamics and host immune responses in pigs

Stig Millan Thamsborg, Helena Mejer, Kerstin Skovgaard, Mita E. Sengupta, Helene Kringel, Heidi Huus Petersen, Bent Borg Jensen, Annette Andreasen

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    Abstract

    Oesophagostomum infections in pigs persist for months. We hypothesized that feeding fructans (dried chicory roots) may improve immunity and facilitate worm expulsion. We therefore examined the effects of long-term chicory on O. dentatum population dynamics and host immune responses. Methods: Seventy-two pigs were allocated to four groups in a 2-factorial design. Group O was fed regular feed and trickle inoculated with 15 O. dentatum L3/kg/day 0-12 weeks post-infection (pi.) start. Group OC was also trickle inoculated but switched to a chicory-rich diet (12% inulin in DM) weeks 3-12 pi. Group C was uninfected but switched to chicory diet while Group Ctr remained uninfected on regular feed. Six pigs per group were necropsied 5, 9 and 12 weeks pi. for worm counts and qRT-PCR for gene expression in the gut. Faecal egg counts (FEC) and specific antibody levels were assessed regularly. Results: When group OC switched to chicory diet, FECs dropped within 3-4 days and remained very low. Worm counts were reduced 50-65% by chicory feeding (Group OC versus O; p<0.001) and was accompanied by a 2-fold higher O. dentatum-specific IgG1 response. In group O, a build-up of a typical Th2-type immune response was seen but leveled out later and worm counts remained stable. Group C had a down-regulated Th1-type response and thus an anti-inflammatory effect in colon. Conclusions: We found little evidence that chicory feeding improved host protective immunity against Oesophagostomum. It seems more likely, as previously suggested, that physico-chemical changes in caeco-colon are responsible for the observed anthelmintic effects.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event26th International Conference of World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP): Combating Zoonoses: Strength in East-West Partnership - Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Duration: 4 Sep 20178 Sep 2017

    Conference

    Conference26th International Conference of World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP)
    LocationKuala Lumpur Convention Centre
    CountryMalaysia
    CityKuala Lumpur
    Period04/09/201708/09/2017

    Keywords

    • Swine
    • Oesophagostomum
    • Chicory
    • Prebiotics
    • Immune response

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