Probiotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079 (Levucell SB) improves piglets performance post-weaning and helps partially reducing the use of antimicrobials
Results of a study focused on weaning piglets conducted by the team of Prof. G. Savoini from University of Milan, Italy, were presented at the 68th Annual Meeting of the European Federation of Animal Science (EAAP), in Tallinn, Estonia. This trial shows that probiotic yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 can help facing post-weaning challenges, either to enhance performance when used on top of medicated feed (antibiotics and zinc oxide), or to help reducing feed medication post-weaning1. The authors concluded that this probiotic can become part of the nutritional strategies in a context of medicated feed reduction and that it is compatible with antibiotics and zinc oxide. Prof. Savoini commented “This is quite a good example of how a probiotic should work, giving economic advantages to the farmers through increased animal performance and possible decreased cost of rearing cycles from lower use of medications in feeds”.
Weaning is one of the most stressful events in pig farming and it does represent a critical step, which must be well managed in order to minimize production losses and secure piglets’ health. The wide use of antibiotics in both human and animal medicine has fueled the appearance and propagation of resistant micro-organisms. Thus, producers need to find alternative approaches. Among them, the use of probiotics appears as a scientifically proven solution. The live yeast strain S. cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 is one of the most documented probiotics in swine, with proven effects on microbiota regulation, intestinal structure and natural defenses.
University of Milan conducted this study on 288 weaning piglets in order to evaluate the effect of the probiotic yeast on post-weaning piglets performance, either in addition to or in substitution of antimicrobials in feed, in a 3-phase feeding program (Table 1).
Results of the trials indicate:
An additive effect of the probiotic and antimicrobials:
When S. cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 was used on top of medicated feed, this trial showed a significantly improved average daily gain and improved feed conversion ratio: +5.59% in ADG and -4.97% in FCR. The probiotic is compatible with antibiotics and zinc oxide.
A substitution effect
When S. cerevisiae var. boulardii CNCM I-1079 is used and antimicrobials (antibiotic and zinc oxide) were removed for 39 days (Phase 2 and 3 feed), there were no significant difference in average daily gain and feed conversion ratio.
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