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Two probiotic micro-organisms authorized in the EU as feed additives (Enterococcus faecium NCIMB 10415 and Bacillus cereus var toyoi) were applied to gestating and lactating sows as well as to suckling and weaned piglets. Both probiotics were transferred very early a.p. from the sow to the piglets and colonized the whole intestinal tract of the piglets. While effects on animal performance were marginal and not consistent, incidence of post-weaning diarrhoea was reduced by both probiotics significantly. The mode of action of the probiotics includes modified and less diverse intestinal microbiota, reduced exposure to pathogenic bacteria, modified nutrient transport kinetics by jejunal epithelia and modifications of the immune system. The two utilized probiotics affect the immune system in a different way.