September 24, 2020

Interpretive Summary: Porcine spray-dried plasma protein and dried egg protein on nursery pig performance

Interpretive Summary: The impact of porcine spray-dried plasma protein and dried egg protein on nursery pig performance

By: Anne Kamiya, MS

Postweaning stress causes a variety of health problems in nursery pigs. Infections of the gastrointestinal system are particularly common with devastating impacts on performance. Prophylactic antibiotics ameliorate these issues, however, due to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms, alternatives to antibiotics need to be investigated. One such possibility is dietary supplementation with specialty proteins.

Spray-dried plasma protein (SDPP) is a specialty protein that increases feed intake and performance due to its immunoglobulin proteins. Immunoglobulins have strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. Unfortunately, SDPP is expensive and not practical for widespread use on a commercial scale. In this recent Translational Animal Science study, researchers evaluated dried egg protein (DEP), which contains egg-yolk immunoglobulins (IgY), as a possible replacement for SDPP. Their aim was to evaluate and compare the growth performance and digestive health of commercial nursery pigs fed antibiotics, SDPP and DEP.

A total of 1230 nursery pigs were studied for 42 days. Diets included a control with no specialty protein additive, porcine SDPP, or DEP. Each of these three diets were formulated with and without antibiotics. Markers for gut health were unremarkable. Both average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) were significantly increased in SDPP and DEP fed pigs who were not given antibiotics, compared to the control. There was no significant difference in the growth performance of pigs fed SDPP and DEP when antibiotics were also given. 

The findings of this study suggest that the addition of SDPP and DEP had comparably positive impacts on the growth performance of post-weaning pigs, but only when antibiotics were not included in their feed. Dried egg protein is an affordable replacement for SDPP within this context. More studies looking at the benefits of IgY and other specialty proteins on the health and growth performance of post-weaning pigs is warranted.

The original article, The impact of porcine spray-dried plasma protein and dried egg protein harvested from hyper-immunized hens, provided in the presence or absence of subtherapeuticlevels of antibiotics in the feed, on growth and indicators of intestinal function and physiology of nursery pigs, can be found in Translational Animal Science.