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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Lairage during transport has an impact on the swine innate immunity and commensal bacteria diversity

Authors
item Williams, J - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Minton, J - KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY
item Patterson, J - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Marchant-Forde, Jeremy
item Eicher, Susan

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 12, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Williams, J.L., Minton, J.E., Patterson, J.A., Marchant-Forde, J.N., Eicher, S.D. 2008. Lairage during transport has an impact on the swine innate immunity and commensal bacteria diversity. Journal of Animal Science. 86:1232-1244.

Interpretive Summary: Long distance transports may significantly affect the health of pigs; thus, adding a rest stop (lairage) during long journeys may improve their well-being. The objective of this study was to determine whether a mid-journey lairage influenced swine innate immunity and intestinal microbial populations following a 16-h transport. Blood analysis revealed increased white blood and phagocytic cell counts in the continuously transported pigs that are associated with acute stressors. The ability of white blood cells to ingest foreign particles was greater in the rested pigs. Cell signals that create inflammatory responses were greater in the continuously transported pigs on day 1 and on day 14 after the transport A natural anti-microbial peptide in the intestinal tissues was greater for the rested pigs on day 3 after the transport. Rested pigs had greater variation in intestinal microbial populations on d 1, 3, 7, and d 14. However, continuously transported pigs had greater variation in the part of the intestinal tissues on d 14. This study indicates that extended transport without lairage alters immune functions, receptor, cytokine and chemokine expression and gut microbiotia which may increase susceptibility of piglets to pathogens. These data suggest that a health benefit may be derived from a rest-stop during long transports, but must also be interpreted with caution because the experiment did not include mixing the pens of pigs and only used different buildings on the farm from which the pigs originated (commercial lairage facilities possibly may have greater new pathogen exposure).

Technical Abstract: Long distance transports may significantly affect the health of pigs; thus, adding a rest stop (lairage) during long journeys may improve their well-being. The objective of this study was to determine whether a mid-journey lairage influenced swine innate immunity and intestinal microbial populations following a 16-h transport. Four replications were conducted, 1 in each of 4 seasons. Eighteen-kg pigs were housed in 16 pens (13 to 16 pigs/pen) with 8 pens/treatment. Lairage (La) pigs were transported for 8 h, given a rest with food and water for 8 h, then transported for an additional 8 h. Continuous (Co) pigs were continuously transported for 16 h. Jugular blood samples and intestinal tissue and contents were collected from 16 pigs (8/treatment) on d 1, 3, 7 and 14 post-transport. Hematocrit and white blood cell (WBC) counts were determined and neutrophil cell functions (phagocytosis/oxidative burst and phagocytosis of latex beads) and leukocyte phenotypic cell markers (CD14 and CD18) were analyzed using flow cytometry. Expression of toll-like receptors (TLR) 2, 4, and 5, IL-8 (cytokine), CCL20 (chemokine), and PR39 (antimicrobial peptide) were determined from ileal and jejunal RNA. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to determine shifts in intestinal microbial populations. Total WBC and granulocyte counts in Co pigs were greater (P < 0.01) on d 1 than in La pigs. Phagocytosis of microbeads was greater (P < 0.05) than La pigs on d 7. Expression of IL-8 in jejunum was greater (P < 0.05) for Co than for LA pigs on d 1. Expression of CCL20 in the ileum was greater (P < 0.05) d 14 for the Co pigs. Expression of PR39 was greatest (P < 0.05) in the jejunum of La pigs on d3. La pigs had greater (P < 0.05) variation in microbial populations (lower similarity coefficient) in the jejunum contents on d 1 and 7, in the cecum contents and tissue on d 3, and in the jejunum contents and tissue on d 14. However, Co pigs had greater (P < 0.05) variation in the ileal tissues on d 14. This study indicates that extended transport without lairage alters immune functions, receptor, cytokine and chemokine expression and gut microbiotia which may increase susceptibility of piglets to pathogens.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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