Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Animal Science

Major Professor

John P. Hitchcock

Committee Members

D.A. Bemis, F.A. Draughon, F.B. Masincupp


Three experiments were conducted utilizing 142 newborn (Hampshire X Yorkshire x Landrace) pigs. The major objectives were: 1) to examine the efficiency of a simple supplement to maternal colostrum for improving serum IgG concentration, energy status and survival rate of low-birthweight pigs; 2) to examine the effects of Ig concentrate, soybean trypsin inhibitor and L acidophilus on acquisition of passive immunity.

Supplementation of low-birthweight pigs, in Experiment I, tended to improve survival rate to 7 but not to 28 d of age. Neither serum IgG nor glucose were affected by supplementation. Subsequent work revealed methods to improve the efficiency of a supplemental mixture such as the one used in Experiment I. When BSA was used as a marker protein, addition of 50 mg*mL-1 of IgG concentrate to the mixture resulted in a 40 percent increase in serum BSA concentration. Incorporation of SBTI (5 mg*mL-1) into the supplement resulted in an additional increase in BSA concentration, and an improved (P < .001) serum concentration of PIgG as compared to only Ig concentrate and BSA in the mixture.

In Experiments II and III, incorporation of L. acidophilus into the mixtures resulted in less efficient intestinal transmission of proteins in pigs which were deprived of maternal colostrum. This effect was amplified by increasing the L. acidophilus from 108 to 1010 CPU mL-1. Removal of L. acidophilus from the mixture by centrifugation did not result in a decreased concentration of BIgG. This eliminated the assumption that BIgG*L. acidophilus complexes were being formed in great enough quantity to cause decreased BIgG. Similar reductions in serum concentrations ot BIgG, as a result of feeding mixtures containing L. acidopilus, were not observed in pigs which were allowed access to maternal colostrum during the first 12 h of lite. This was likely due to dilution and frequent bathing of the intestine with maternal colostrum.

From these experiments, it was concluded that increased protein concentration and SBTI had a positive effect on intestinal transmission of macromolecules in neonatal pigs which were deprived of maternal colostrum and could be used to improve supplement efficiency. However, incorporation of L. acidophilus into mixtures developed to improve passive immunity in neonatal pigs which are deprived of maternal colostrum is not recommended, since macromolecular transmission was reduced due to their presence. The mechanism by which this occurred is not clear and justifies further study.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."