J F Pérez

Autonomous University of Barcelona, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain

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Publications (47)67.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The potential of a prebiotic oligosaccharide lactulose, a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus plantarum, or their synbiotic combination to control post-weaning colibacillosis in pigs were evaluated using an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) K88 oral challenge. Seventy-two weanlings were fed four diets: a control diet (CTR), supplemented with L. plantarum (2 × 10(10) CFU ⋅ day(-1)) (LPN); with 10 g ⋅ kg(-1) lactulose (LAC) or a combination of both treatments (SYN). After 7 days the pigs were orally challenged. Six pigs per treatment were euthanized on days 6 and 10 post challenge (PC). Inclusion of lactulose improved the average daily gain (ADG) (P < 0.05), increased lactobacilli (P < 0.05) and the percentage of butyric acid (P < 0.02) in the colon. An increase in the ileum villous height (P < 0.05) and a reduction of the Pig Major Acute-phase Protein (Pig-MAP) in serum (P < 0.01) were observed also. The inclusion of the probiotic increased numbers of L. plantarum in the ileum and colon (P < 0.05) and in the total lactobacilli in the colon and trend to reduce diarrhoea (P = 0.09). The concentration of ammonia in ileal and colonic digesta was decreased (P < 0.05) and the villous height (P < 0.01) and ileal goblet cells (P < 0.05) increased at day 10 PC. A decrease in plasmatic TNF-α (P < 0.01) was also seen. Positive effects of both additives were combined in the SYN treatment resulting in a complementary synbiotic with potential to be used to control post-weaning colibacillosis.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 06/2014; · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally, feeding highly digestible ingredients and including in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters has been recommended in piglets diets. However, the ban of in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters in many countries, together with the increases in price of many ingredients, favours the study of less complex diets in the post-weaning (PW) period. In this respect, the inclusion of dietary fibre (DF) as a mean to overcome problems associated with the weaning process might be of value. In PW piglet feed, functional characteristics of fibrous ingredients are likely more important than the chemical composition of the fibrous ingredients. This article reviews the functional effects of DF on the digestive tract of piglets during the PW period. Evidence presented in this review indicates that moderate levels of insoluble fibre sources preferably as coarse particle size and when pigs have a compromised health status, might have positive effects promoting gut health during the first two weeks after weaning. These positive effects might be associated with enhanced maturation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) as well as with the physical effect of DF on the growth of intestinal microbiota and the blocking of the adhesion of pathogenic bacteria to the GIT mucosa. On the other hand, inclusion of soluble and rapid fermentable fibre sources in the diet for the first two weeks after weaning, especially with early weaning in farms with poor health status, might be contraindicative due to the limited digestive capacity of the piglets. Once the pigs adapt to solid feed, higher amounts of soluble and fermentable fibre sources, can be gradually included in the diet to promote healthy fermentation of undigested nutrients and better absorption of SCFA by the colon mucosa. Under poor hygiene conditions, the level of fermentable fibre and CP content of the PW diets should be limited to avoid intestinal dysbiosis, which might increase the risk of post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD).
    Animal Feed Science and Technology 03/2014; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The prebiotic lactulose, a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus plantarum (L. plantarum) and a synbiotic combination of these two agents were evaluated as growth promoters in 25–39- day old commercial weaning pigs. Ninety-six weaning pigs were allocated into 32 pens, taking initial weight into account, and distributed into four groups as follows: a control diet (CTR), the same diet supplemented daily with L. plantarum (109 CFU/mL sprayed on top; 20 mL/pig) (LPN); 10 g/kg lactulose (LAC) or a combination of both treatments (SYN). At day 14, eight piglets from each group were euthanized and proximal colon digesta was sampled for luminal pH, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and lactic acid concentrations. Deoxyribonucleic acid was extracted from colonic digesta and the microbial community was profiled by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (T-RFLP) and qPCR. Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and acute-phase proteins (Pig-MAP) were measured. Lactulose treatment (LAC) improved feed intake (P<0.05), average daily gain (P<0.01), feed:gain ratio (P<0.05) and reduced BUN (P<0.01). Both, LAC and LPN treatment, decreased the Enterobacteriaceae:Lactobacillus spp. ratio in the colonic luminal contents (P<0.05). Moreover LPN treatment promoted a decrease in the percentage of branched fatty acids (P<0.01) suggesting a reduction in proteolytic microbial activity. Microbial profiling of colonic luminal contents by T-RFLP revealed changes in some microbial species. Terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) compatible with Bifidobacterium thermoacidophilum were more frequently detected in experimental diets compared to CTR (P<0.05). Pigs receiving SYN diet demonstrated the combined positive effects of individual LAC and LPN treatment although we were not able to show a specific increase in the probiotic strain with the inclusion of lactulose. Collectively, these data suggest the combination of lactulose and L. plantarum acts as a complementary synbiotic, but not as a synergistic combination.
    Animal Feed Science and Technology 10/2013; 185:160-168. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) K88 is the most prevalent enteropathogen in weaned piglets, with the ability to express fimbria F4 and specifically attach to intestinal receptors in the young piglet. The prevention of ETEC K88 adhesion to the epithelium by interfering in this fimbria-receptor recognition provides an alternative approach to prevent the initial stage of disease. The aim of this study is to screen, among different feed ingredients (FI), their ability to reduce ETEC K88 attachment to the porcine intestinal epithelial cell-line (IPEC-J2). The selected FI consisted of products of a vegetable or dairy origin, and microbial by-products, which could be suitable to be included in piglet's diet. Incubation of a mixture of each FI extract with the bacteria on IPEC-J2 monolayer was allowed. After washing with PBS to remove the non-adhered bacteria, the culture medium was added to grow the adhered bacteria and, simultaneously, to keep the cells alive. Then, the bacterial growth was monitored in a spectrophotometer reader for 12h. Casein glycomacropeptide (CGMP), locust bean (LB), exopolysaccharide (EPS) and wheat bran (WB) reduced the number of attached ETEC K88 to IPEC-J2, but no anti-adhesive effect was found for soybean hulls, sugar-beet pulp, locust gum, fructooligosaccharides, inulin, mushroom, mannanoligosaccharides or the fermented product from Aspergillus oryzae. The lineal analysis of dose responses demonstrated lineal activity (P<0.0001) for CGMP, LB, EPS and WB. These in vitro results suggest CGMP, LB, EPS and WB as good candidates to be included in piglet's diet with supported functional activity against colibacillosis.
    Veterinary Microbiology 08/2013; · 2.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: High doses of Zn are widely used for prevention and treatment of diarrhoea in weaning piglets; however, the mechanism of action of Zn against diarrhoea is still not well understood. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether weaning induces Zn deficiency in piglets. Eight litters of primiparous sows were selected for the experiment, and 3 piglets presenting similar weights were selected within each litter. Two of the three selected piglets from each litter were weaned at 21d of age and fed two different diets: a commercial control diet (WCt) and the same diet plus 2000 ppm of Zn as ZnO (WZn). The third selected pig from each litter was kept unweaned (Uw) with the sow and the rest of the litter. All 24 selected animals were killed at 28 d of age, and blood, gastrointestinal content, liver, pancreas and spleen were sampled for Zn, Fe and Cu analysis (mg/kg or L of sample). Data were analysed using anova including treatment as a fixed factor. Weaned pigs fed WCt diet presented a lower Zn concentration in plasma than Uw animals (0.76 ± 0.091 vs. 1.10 ± 0.099 mg/L, p = 0.05). Zinc levels in liver, pancreas and spleen were not affected by weaning. Total concentration of Zn was higher in gastrointestinal contents of weaned animals fed WCt diet than in Uw pigs (p ≤ 0.001 for stomach, jejunum, ileum, caecum and colon). Supplementation with high doses of ZnO increased levels of Zn in gastrointestinal content (p < 0.001), liver (p < 0.001) and pancreas (p < 0.001) compared to WCt diet. It also increased plasma Zn to non-deficient levels (1.32 ± 0.086), but the increase was not as marked as in other locations and final concentration was not different than that in Uw animals (p = 0.231). Weaning creates a Zn deficiency situation in weaned pigs as observed by plasma Zn concentrations. ZnO supplementation counteracts Zn deficiency.
    J Anim Physiol a Anim Nutr 05/2013; 97:6-12. · 1.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A total of 144 piglets (7.6 ± 1.7 kg) were distributed after weaning into two dietary treatments based (60%) on rice (R) or barley (B), with 18 replicates of 4 animals per treatment. On day 14 after weaning, 96 animals (48 from each diet) were reallocated in 32 pens, and assigned to a diet of the same cereal (R or B), either containing (high fibre, HF) or not (low fibre, LF) 4% of wheat bran (WB) and 2% of sugarbeet pulp (SBP), in a 2 × 2 factorial design until day 35 after weaning. No significant differences were observed on the productive performance between experimental treatments in the first period. In the second period, the piglets fed on R diet ate more (785 vs. 677 g/day, P = 0.03) and tended (P = 0.067) to have a higher final body weight (19.6 vs. 18.5 kg) compared to animals fed on diet B. Fibre supplementation did not affect performance. Both, B and HF diets reduced (P b 0.05) the ammonia concentration in the proximal colon digesta. Diet B also decreased the relative isoacid concentration (P =0.007) and tended (P b 0.10) to have a lower number of coliforms than diet R, which may indicate a reduction in protein fermentation. Fibre supplementation increased the number of Enterococci (5.39 vs. 4.31 Log CFU/g faeces, P = 0.015). The results confirm that piglets fed on rice performed better than those fed on barley, but showed higher colon protein fermentation. A moderate supplementation with WB and SBP attenuated these effects by reducing ammonia concentration and increasing the number of Enterococci.
    Livestock Science 09/2010; 133(1):225-228. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The leading cause of post-weaning diarrhoea in pigs is Escherichia coli. Previous studies showed that inclusion of wheat bran (WB) in the diet of weaned pigs decreased the number of pathogenic E. coli in the faeces and reduced the incidence of post-weaning diarrhoea. It is not clear whether it is the WB alone that improves gut health, or whether it is the particle size of theWB that is important. In this experiment we used an E. coli K88+ challenge model to test the importance of supplementing WB and particle size of the WB. A total of 36 individually-housed piglets (17±0.77 d) were assigned randomly to one of four experimental groups. Treatments were: (1) a negative control diet (NC) based on corn, wheat, barley and soybean meal; (2) NC+ 4% coarsely milled WB (WBc, 1088 μm); (3) NC+4% finely milled WB (WBf, 445 μm); and (4) a positive control diet (PC) consisting of the NC diet supplemented with a commercial feed grade antibiotic mix. At 26 d of age, pigs were experimentally infected with 6.2×109 cfu/mL of E. coli K88+. Body weight, feed intake, and diarrhoea were monitored. Pigs were euthanized 7 d after infection. Ileal digesta and mucosa were taken for E. coli enumeration and for determination of SCFA and indices for richness and diversity of microbiota. There were no significant differences in ADG, ADFI, and G:F ratio attributable to dietary treatment. Inclusion of WB, either fine or coarse, significantly (Pb0.05) decreased E. coli numbers in the ileal digesta. The use of WBc had an additional benefit because the E. coli K88+ numbers were significantly lower (Pb0.05) and the SCFA in ileal digesta was higher (Pb0.05) compared to WBf. We conclude that both WB per se, and the particle size of WB have an effect on gut health in weaned pigs.
    Livestock Science 09/2010; 133:214-217. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of AflaDetox (Adiveter, Agro-Reus, Reus, Tarragona, Spain) in counteracting the deleterious effects of aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)) in broiler chicks. A total of 120 Ross 308 one-day-old male broiler chicks were assigned to 8 treatments for 42 d. The experiment had a 2 x 4 factorial arrangement of treatments involving 0 and 1 mg of AFB(1)/kg feed and 0, 1, 2, and 5 g of AflaDetox/kg feed. Chicks were fed on the ground during the first 7 d and in cages (3 chicks/cage; 5 cages/treatment) from 7 to 42 d. Growth performance was measured from d 7 to 42 and whole-tract digestibility of gross energy and protein on d 40 to 41. Serum biochemical parameters, organ weights, histopathological examination of liver, and AFB(1) residues in liver and breast muscle tissues were determined on d 42. Aflatoxin B(1) significantly decreased the BW gain, feed intake, and impaired feed conversion rate (P < 0.05). The addition of AflaDetox in the contaminated diets significantly diminished the inhibitory effects of dietary AFB(1) (P < 0.05) on the growth performance with no differences compared to the control diet. Feeding AFB(1) alone decreased serum protein concentration, increased the serum activity of alkaline phosphatase, and caused significant increases in the relative weights of livers. Treatment with AflaDetox significantly alleviated the negative effects of AFB(1) on these parameters (P < 0.05) with no effect on uncontaminated diets. Liver tissue of broilers receiving AFB(1) alone had perilobular inflammation and vacuolar degeneration of hepatocytes as compared with the tissue from the control group (P < 0.05). Residues of AFB(1) were detected in the liver tissues of broilers fed on the AFB(1) diet (0.166 microg/kg). Supplementation of AflaDetox reduced the incidence and severity of the hepatic histopathology changes associated with aflatoxicosis and the amount of AFB(1) residue in liver. In conclusion, our results showed that addition of AflaDetox may reduce the adverse effects produced by the presence of AFB(1) in broiler chickens diets.
    Poultry Science 08/2009; 88(7):1444-51. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To study the interaction between the levels of protein and fiber on the productive performance and health status of piglets, ninety-six 35-d-old piglets (9.11 +/- 0.60 kg of BW) were placed in 32 pens of 3 animals each and allotted to 4 dietary treatments for 21 d. The 4 diets were based on rice, dairy products, and soybean meal in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments, with 2 levels of CP (15.4 vs. 19.4%, as-fed basis) and 2 levels of dietary fiber [DF; low fiber (LF) 5.3% NDF and high fiber (HF) 7.15% NDF, as-fed basis]. The HF diet was developed by supplementing the basal diet with 40 g/kg of wheat bran and 20 g/kg of sugar beet pulp. Animal performance was obtained weekly with samples of feces collected for microbiology on the first and the last experimental day and scored from 1 (liquid) to 4 (hard). On the last day, 1 pig from each pen was sampled for blood analyses of the acute-phase protein, major acute-phase protein of pigs (PigMap) and subsequently killed to register the digestive tract weight (including contents) and colon histology. Pigs fed the HF diets had greater ADG (390 vs. 457 g; P < or = 0.001) and large intestine weight (4.4 vs. 5.4% of BW; P < or = 0.05). This coincided with a greater (P < or = 0.05) short-chain fatty acid concentration (especially of acetic and butyric acids), a decrease in Escherichia coli counts (7.77 vs. 6.86 log of cfu/g of feces, P < or = 0.05), and an increase in the ratio of lactobacilli:enterobacteria (0.76 vs. 1.37, P < or = 0.05). However, CP level did not modify the productive performance, but 20% CP increased P < or = 0.05) the relative weight (% of BW) of the small (6.5 vs. 7.7) and large intestine (3.8 vs. 4.3). In the large bowel, the 20% CP diet increased the numbers of goblet cells (4.6 vs. 5.4/100 microm; P < or = 0.05) and reduced the numbers of intraepithelial lymphocytes (1.8 vs. 1.3/100 microm; P < or = 0.05). In relation to health status, increasing DF was dependent of the dietary CP content. Supplementing the 16% CP diet with DF reduced the fecal score and increased the antibiotics interventions, whereas the opposite was the case in the 20% CP diet. Pigs fed the 20% CP diet showed decreased (P < or = 0.05) PigMap concentrations than pigs fed 16% CP diets. As a whole, CP showed major effects on the gastrointestinal weight and gut barrier integrity, whereas DF increased the productive performance and promoted major changes in the microbial colonization and fermentation variables.
    Journal of Animal Science 07/2009; 87(11):3569-77. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The plant extract mixture (XT) used in the present experiment, containing carvacrol, cinnamaldehyde, and capsicum oleoresin, has previously been shown to decrease diarrhea mortality and to modify the intestinal environment of pigs after weaning. However, results obtained among experiments have not been consistent. We hypothesized that dietary protein could be a main factor determining the effect of plant extracts on intestinal environment. Thus, in the present study we assessed the effects of XT in piglet diets with different protein sources and amounts. Pigs weaned at 20 +/- 1 d of age (n = 240) were allocated to 1 of 6 treatments, which followed a factorial arrangement, with 2 amounts (as-fed basis) of the XT (0 and 200 mg/kg) and 3 diets with various amounts of CP and protein sources. Diet FM18 contained 10% of low-temperature fish meal (LT-FM) and a CP level of 18%; diet SBM18 contained 5% of LT-FM plus 9% of full fat extruded soy and a CP level of 18%; and SBM20 diet contained 10% of LT-FM plus 6.3% of full fat extruded soy and a CP level of 20%. Growth performance of the animals was recorded for 14 d, but no differences were detected among treatments. Eight pigs per treatment were killed to examine variables describing aspects of gastrointestinal ecology. For diets containing 18% CP, FM18 and SBM18, XT tended to decrease ileal digestibility of OM (P = 0.064 and 0.071, respectively) and decreased starch digestibility (P = 0.032 and 0.014, respectively). It also reduced villi length (P = 0.003 and 0.013, respectively) and tended to decrease intraepithelial lymphocyte number (P = 0.051 and 0.100, respectively) in the proximal jejunum. The XT inclusion also increased ileal lactobacilli:enterobacteria (P = 0.017) ratio and decreased VFA production in the cecum (P = 0.045) for all diets. A decreased CP level appeared to favor the effects of the studied plant extracts in a positive or negative way depending on the variable measured. The microbial differences produced by XT could be the reason for improved digestive health observed by the authors in stronger challenging conditions (e.g., dirtier environments or long fasting periods after weaning).
    Journal of Animal Science 03/2009; 87(6):2029-37. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to assess the influence of including two different sources of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP): insoluble NSP (iNSP) like wheat bran (WB) and/or soluble NSP (sNSP) like sugar beet pulp (SBP) on the nutrient digestibility and the physicochemical characteristics of the hindgut digesta, and on the microbial population and the fermentation end-products. A total of 32 piglets (7.4±0.76 kg of bodyweight (BW))were distributedinto four experimental diets: a control diet (CT), or diets with 8% WB, 6% SBP, or 4% WB and 3% SBP (WB–SBP). Two experimental periodswere considered (0–10 and 10–15 days afterweaning) during which BWand voluntary feed intake were measured. Four animals per treatment were euthanized on days 10 and 15. Colon digesta was sampled and analyzed for organic matter digestibility (OMd) and starch digestibility, unbound water, water retention capacity (WRC) and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). At the same time, enterobacteria and lactobacilli loadswere determined in caecum digesta. The presence of iNSP in the diet (WB and WB–SBP diets) diminished the unbound water of colonic digesta in the two experimental periods (P=0.01 on day 10 and P<0.05 on day 15) and increased the butyric acid concentration (P<0.05) on day 15, compared to the CT diet. Including iNSP and sNSP in the same diet (WB–SBP) decreased (P<0.05) the enterobacteria counts on caecum digesta on day 15 compared to the CT diet indicating a synergistic effect of thetwo different sources on the microbial population. Consumption of diets with higher iNSP content, or the combination of iNSP + sNSP in the early weaning period modifies physicochemical characteristics and affects the microbial colonization and fermentation patterns in the hindgut.
    Animal Feed Science and Technology 03/2009; 149:346–353. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An experiment was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of a new ochratoxin-binding agent (Ocra-Tox, 5 g/kg of feed) in offsetting the toxic effects of ochratoxin A (OTA, 2 mg/kg of feed) in laying hen diets. Performance, serum biochemistry, OTA residue in the liver and eggs, and egg quality parameters were evaluated. Twenty-eight Hisex Brown laying hens, 47 wk of age, were allocated to 1 of 4 experimental treatments for 3 wk: control, OTA (containing 2 mg of OTA/kg of feed), OcraTox (containing 5 g of OcraTox/kg of feed), and OTA + OcraTox (containing 2 mg of OTA and 5 g of OcraTox/kg of feed). Laying hens fed OcraTox showed results similar to the control hens (P > 0.05). The OTA diet significantly (P < 0.05) reduced daily feed consumption, egg mass production, and serum triglyceride concentrations, and increased the relative liver weight, the serum activity of alkaline phosphatase, and the serum concentration of uric acid as compared with the control diet. Addition of OcraTox to the contaminated diet alleviated (P < 0.05) the negative effects resulting from OTA, reaching values not significantly different from the control diet for most of the parameters except the relative weight of the liver. Birds fed the OTA treatment showed a greater content of OTA in the liver (15.1 microg/kg) than those fed the control diet (<0.05 microg/kg). Supplementing the contaminated diet with OcraTox (OTA + OcraTox) reduced the values to 12.0 microg/kg. Residues of OTA were not detected above our detection limit (0.05 microg/kg) in any of the analyzed eggs. In conclusion, our results indicated that addition of OcraTox can counteract the deleterious effects caused by OTA in laying hens.
    Poultry Science 11/2008; 87(11):2266-72. · 1.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to assess the ability of a dynamic in vitro model to determine the digestibility of OM, CP, and starch compared with a validated, static, in vitro method and in vivo ileal digestibility obtained from growing pigs fitted with a T-cannula. Five experimental diets with different carbohydrate types and level were assessed: a standard corn-based diet (ST) or the same diet with coarse ground corn (CC), 8% sugar beet pulp (BP), 10% wheat bran (WB), or 8% sugar beet pulp and 10% wheat bran (HF). In the in vivo experiment, diets CC and HF reduced (P = 0.015) ileal digestibility of OM compared with the ST diet. The inclusion of sugar beet pulp reduced (P = 0.049) ileal CP digestibility of the BP diet. This reduction was not statistically significant when sugar beet pulp was combined with the wheat bran in the HF diet. No differences were shown for in vivo starch digestibility among diets. With the static in vitro method, the OM disappearance was greater than that observed in the in vivo experiment. In this static method, the BP and HF diets reduced (P = 0.004 and < 0.001, respectively) the disappearance of the OM compared with the ST diet. The coarse grinding of corn did not alter OM digestibility but decreased (P = 0.005) the starch digestibility. The R(2) between the in vivo results and the static in vitro methods for OM and starch digestibility was 0.99 when the CC diet was not considered. The dynamic in vitro model yielded OM and CP digestibility coefficients comparable with those obtained in vivo for the ST and CC diets. However, the values were considerably affected by the incorporation of the fibrous ingredients. Diets BP, WB, and HF had decreased (P = 0.009, 0.058, and 0.004, respectively) OM digestibility compared with the ST diet. Protein digestibility was also decreased (P < 0.001, P = 0.019, and P = 0.003, respectively) with the BP, WB, and HF diets compared with the ST diet. However, digestibility was decreased to a greater extent in the BP diet than in the WB and HF diets, both of which contained wheat bran. The R(2) between the dynamic in vitro model and the in vivo results for CP digestibility was 0.99 when the CC diet was not considered. No differences were detected for starch digestibility among the diets with the dynamic in vitro model. This dynamic in vitro model yielded ileal digestibility results comparable with those obtained in vivo for CP and OM with a corn-soybean diet, or with a diet including coarse corn, but it underestimated digestibility when fibrous ingredients were included in the diet.
    Journal of Animal Science 06/2008; 86(5):1156-63. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of a commercial source of mannanoligosacharides (BM), organic zinc (BP), or their combination to enhance performance, gastrointestinal health, and immune response in weaned pigs was evaluated. A total of 128 piglets, weaned at 20 +/- 2 d, were housed in 32 pens. Animals received 1 of 4 dietary treatments: a control diet (CT) to which 0.2% of BM, 80 mg/kg of Zn as BP, or both additives (BMP) were added. The experiment lasted for 5 wk including a prestarter period of 2 wk and a starter period of 3 wk. Body weight was recorded and daily feed intake was calculated. Fecal consistency was monitored for the first 21 d. After 2 wk, 32 animals were killed, digesta samples from the stomach, ileum, and cecum were collected, and pH and the short-chain fatty acid profile were determined. Microbiological counts for enterobacteria and lactobacilli were evaluated using quantitative PCR. Histological parameters in the jejunum and immunoglobulin concentrations in serum and ileal digesta were also measured. Both additives improved G:F during the starter period (0.63, 0.69, 0.67, and 0.68 for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P < 0.04). Mean fecal score values for the first 21 d were improved by BM and BP, showing decreased values compared with the CT diet (1.22, 0.89, 0.87, and 1.06 for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P = 0.002). The addition of BM decreased enterobacteria counts in the jejunum (9.13, 8.05, 8.87, and 7.89 log 16S rRNA gene copies/g of matter for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively; P = 0.05). Empty ileal weight, defined as the segment including the continuous Peyer's patch, tended (P = 0.08) to increase with BP treatment (8.9, 9.6, 11.9, and 10.3 g/kg of BW for CT, BM, BP, and BMP, respectively). Crypt depths in the jejunum were lower in animals fed the combination of the additives (BPM) compared with those fed the control diet (281 vs. 235; P < 0.03). No significant differences were registered in pH, short-chain fatty acids, or serum and ileal immunoglobulin concentrations. The results suggest that the use of BM or BP can improve the efficiency of gain during the starter period.
    Journal of Animal Science 02/2008; 86(1):94-101. · 1.92 Impact Factor
  • Molist F, Hermes R.G, Pérez J.F
    Journal of Animal Science 01/2008; 86:289. · 1.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of different feed withdrawal and lairage times prior to slaughter on the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) weight and on the fermentation pattern and numbers of Enterobacteriaceae in the cecum of pigs. A total of 72 finishing pigs (6 pens, 12 animals each) were included in the study and were sent to the slaughterhouse on three consecutive days. On each day pigs from two pens were deprived of feed for either 2 or 12 h before leaving the farm. Pigs from each of the two pens were divided in sub-groups (4 pigs each) on the moment of loading onto the truck and followed the same distribution at the slaughterhouse. Once there, each sub-group corresponding to the same feed withdrawal time was held in different holding pens for 0, 5 or 10 h before slaughter. The weight of the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) was determined and cecal content was collected to evaluate pH, short chain fatty acids (SCFA) and ammonia (NH3) concentrations as well as lactobacilli and Enterobacteriaceae numbers. Total GIT weight decreased as feed withdrawal (P
    Livestock Science - LIVEST SCI. 01/2008; 119(1):70-76.
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    ABSTRACT: An experiment was designed to study the effect of corn physical structure and different types of dietary fibre on pig gut microbiota during growing. Ninety-six animals (15±2.2 kg) were assigned to four different diets: a control diet (CT), a diet with coarse ground corn (CC), and other two with 8% of sugar beet pulp (BP) or 10% of wheat bran (WB). Thirty-two animals (8 per diet) were sacrificed on days 7, 21 and 42 to measure microbial activity in digesta. Other 8 pigs were sacrificed on day 0 before receiving the diets. Enterobacteria and lactobacilli population in colon were quantified by qPCR. With all diets enterobacteria diminished with time and were lower than lactobacilli. Expressed as lactobacilli:enterobacteria ratio we found differences between diets at day 7 and 21 that had disappeared at day 42. Purine bases (PB) concentration indicated an adaptation of the microbiota with time which was reflected in an increasing content in the caecum and a decreasing content in the colon. Time of adaptation of microbiota was also shown by xylanase and cellulase activities that were not detected until day 7 and 42, respectively. Results obtained shows that pig gut microbiota need a relative long time to adapt after a change of diet that could last up to 6 weeks. We were not able to detect a clear effect of dietary fibre content on this process.
    Livestock Science 05/2007; 109(1):149-152. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of different types of fibre on the intestinal digesta and microbial diversity was evaluated in growing pigs. The animals were fed during forty-two days with one of four experimental diets including a control group, a diet enriched with resistant starch type I, by coarse ground corn, and other two diets containing sugar beet pulp (8%) and wheat bran (10%) (as sources of soluble and insoluble non-starch polysaccharides respectively). Body weight (BW) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) were assessed at day 7, 21 and 42. Luminal samples of digesta from proximal colon were collected to analyse water retention capacity (WRC), concentration of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and the microbial diversity. Overall, animals fed with higher amounts of non-digestible carbohydrates had lower ADFI and BW. Sugar beet pulp provoked an increase of WRC, a higher concentration of SCFA, and a more stable microbial diversity throughout the experimental period. On the other hand, animals fed with wheat bran presented a lower bacterial diversity.
    Livestock Science 05/2007; 109(1):85-88. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to evaluate the influence of a coarse ground cereal and two fibrous ingredients incorporated in the diet on the physicochemical properties of digesta and productive parameters of pigs during the first stage of the growing period. A total of 96 pigs (initial body weight, BW, 15 kg) were distributed into four experimental treatments: the control diet (CT) consisted of corn, barley and soybean meal milled to pass through a 2.5 mm screen; the coarse corn diet (CC) was prepared by milling the corn to a coarser particle size (4.0 mm screen); the sugar beet pulp diet (SBP) and the wheat bran diet (WB) were prepared by replacing some of the corn for sugar beet pulp (80 g/kg) or wheat bran (100 g/kg) respectively, in order to contain a higher amount of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP). Three experimental periods were considered (7, 21 and 42 days) during which body weight (BW) and voluntary feed intake were assessed. At the end of each period eight animals per diet were slaughtered. Weight of the gastrointestinal tract and its compartments (full and empty) was recorded and the contents were sampled. Digesta samples were analysed for water concentration, water retention capacity (WRC), ammonia and short-chain fatty acids concentration (SCFA). Histological study of the proximal colon tissues was also performed. In general, the different parameters evaluated showed differences between the experimental periods, but few interactions were recorded. Animals fed CC, SBP and WB diets presented a lower feed intake (P≤0.009) compared to CT fed animals. Compared to the control diet, coarse grinding of corn provoked an increase in the colonic digesta content (P=0.032). Similarly, animals fed the SBP diet compared to CT animals, showed an increase in the contents (P=0.009) of hindgut, and in the concentration of water in the digesta (P≤0.011). Compared to CT diet the SBP diet lowered the ammonia concentration in the hindgut contents (P≤0.045) and increased the concentration of SCFA in the distal colon (P≤0.025). Animals fed the SBP diet also showed a lower number of lymphoid nodes in the colonic mucosa compared to the other diets (P≤0.043). Minor modifications were observed associated with the incorporation of wheat bran in the diet, but colonic water from WB fed animals showed a tendency to increase cytolytic capacity. The results confirm major changes in the voluntary intake and physicochemical properties of digesta as affected by the incorporation in the diet of a fibrous ingredient or coarse grinding of cereals.
    Livestock Science 04/2007; 107(2):182-191. · 1.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the weaning period, transition from sow's milk to the post-weaning diet causes the withdrawal of important nutrients as milk nucleotides, which are known to be determinant for the development of the gastrointestinal tract and immune function. The objective of these investigations was to study the effect of including these nucleotides in solid diets for piglets. Nucleotide composition of sow's milk was analyzed using 5 sows at 21 days of lactation. The average free nucleotide concentration was 102.8±9.16 μmol/100 mL. Two experiments were performed to assess the effect of a product based on this composition (Nucleoforce Piglets®) on digestive adaptation and incidence of diarrhoea of nursery piglets. In Exp. 1, three groups of 6 piglets were weaned at 21 days of age and fed with a diet supplemented with 0 (control), 1000 or 2000 ppm of nucleotides, and a fourth group of 6 piglets was maintained in lactation. Seven days after weaning, piglets were euthanized and samples of jejunal mucosa were processed for histological measurements. Villus height decreased from 448 μm in un-weaned pigs to 275 μm in the control group 7 days after weaning. Although there were no differences in feed intake among groups, the reduction in villous height was less pronounced (P
    Livestock Science - LIVEST SCI. 01/2007; 108(1):276-279.

Publication Stats

469 Citations
67.67 Total Impact Points


  • 2000–2014
    • Autonomous University of Barcelona
      • • Faculty of Veterinary
      • • Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA)
      • • Department of Animal and Food Science
      Cerdanyola del Vallès, Catalonia, Spain
  • 2004
    • University of Barcelona
      Barcino, Catalonia, Spain
  • 1997
    • University of Zaragoza
      • Departamento de Producción Animal y Ciencia de los Alimentos
      Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain