PloS one

Effect of feed restriction on performance and postprandial nutrient metabolism in pigs co-infected with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and swine influenza virus.

PMID 25101681


As nutritional status and inflammation are strongly connected, feeding and nutritional strategies could be effective to improve the ability of pigs to cope with disease. The aims of this study were to investigate the impact of a feed restriction on the ability of pigs to resist and be tolerant to a coinfection with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhp) and the European H1N1 swine influenza virus, and the consequences for nutrient metabolism, with a focus on amino acids. Two groups of specific pathogen-free pigs were inoculated with Mhp and H1N1 21 days apart. One group was fed ad libitum, the other group was subjected to a two-week 40% feed restriction starting one week before H1N1 infection. The two respective mock control groups were included. Three days post-H1N1 infection, 200 g of feed was given to pigs previously fasted overnight and serial blood samples were taken over 4 hours to measure plasma nutrient concentrations. Throughout the study, clinical signs were observed and pathogens were detected in nasal swabs and lung tissues. Feed-restricted pigs presented shorter hyperthermia and a positive mean weight gain over the 3 days post-H1N1 infection whereas animals fed ad libitum lost weight. Both infection and feed restriction reduced postprandial glucose concentrations, indicating changes in glucose metabolism. Post-prandial plasma concentrations of the essential amino acids histidine, arginine and threonine were lower in co-infected pigs suggesting a greater use of those amino acids for metabolic purposes associated with the immune response. Altogether, these results indicate that modifying feeding practices could help to prepare animals to overcome an influenza infection. Connections with metabolism changes are discussed.