Tel.+49 30 838 - 518 34 Fax.+49 30 838 451 834
To examine the influence of two different probiotic bacteria on the humoral immune system of swine, two animal studies were carried out with sows and their litters. The sows' feed was supplemented with either Enterococcusfaecium NCIMB 10415 (SF68) or Bacillus cereus var. toyoi NCIMB 40112 beginning early in pregnancy. The total IgA content in the faeces as well as the total IgG concentration in the blood of the sows was recorded before and after weaning. The same parameters were determined in the blood and faeces of the piglets. In sows, only feed supplementation with B. cereus led to a clear increase in faecal IgA. Serum IgG levels were not significantly affected by any probiotic feeding in sows. In piglets, the group that was fed B. cereus showed significantly higher faecal IgA levels shortly before weaning, whereas in the E. faecium group, a significant decrease in IgA levels was observed one week after weaning. In both probiotic fed groups the post-weaning IgG levels were significantly decreased compared to the respective control groups. We conclude that B. cereus var. toyoi feed supplementation led to an increased intestinal IgA secretion both in sows and piglets. This effect could be related to a more successful mucosal defence which in turn led to a lower level in systemic IgG production in piglets after weaning.