March 09, 2021

Digestive Physiology of Pigs Lecture: Past, Present and Future

Summary of Digestive Physiology of Pigs Lecture: Past, Present and Future by Dr. Caitlin Vonderohe, Postdoctoral Associate, Baylor College of Medicine

Today, March 8, 2021 at the virtual Midwestern Section of the American Society of Animal Science meeting, Dr. Thomas Burkey from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, also a member of the international steering committee for the Digestive Physiology of the Pig symposium, presented a concise perspective on the past, present and future of the Digestive Physiology of the Pig (DPP) symposium. The triannual DPP symposium has always been well represented by multiple countries and has represented a discussion of the newest findings in digestive physiology of pigs.  Dr. Burkey discussed the focus of the symposium throughout its history. The first DPP symposium was in 1979, with only 33, primarily European, participants. Greater U.S. participation was noted in 1991; work by Dr. Yen et al., exploring the absorption of free versus protein-bound lysine and threonine was discussed, and most work presented focused on the applied aspects of digestive physiology.  In 2000, the topics discussed ranged from a focus on endogenous nitrogenous losses and pre-cecal digestibility of feed ingredients to a focus on the immune system and gut-associated lymphoid tissue. This symposium represented a turning point for the symposium; the symposia section titles shifted from applied nutrition and physiology to immunology, and other associated topics. This shift was evident in the topics presented in 2003, where the focus was on novel methods, immunology and microbiology, intestinal function, and feed additives. More recent work around DPP has seen the establishment of Digestive Physiology of the Pig – North America and additional focus on topics such as the gut microbiome, nutrient digestion mucosal immunity and neonatal development. Meetings in Keystone, Colorado, Kliczkow, Poland and Brisbane Australia have proven to be excellent opportunities to not only present cutting-edge science but also socialize with colleagues in beautiful locations. Additionally, participation in the most recent DPP symposium (Brisbane) has grown to 491 attendees. Dr. Burkey finally described the future focus on the DPP organization. The next symposium is planned for May 17-20, 2022 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The DPP symposium continues to represent the cutting edge in swine physiology with a will focus on topics such as the function of the microbiome on host physiology, optimization of resource utilization in feed ingredients, and lessons that can be learned from other species and disciplines. DPP will be returning to North America in 2024 or 2025.

A recording of the lecture will be available after the meeting on the meeting website.