Dietary Influences on Clostridium difficile Infections in the Neonatal Pig

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2024-05
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Warfield, Alexandra Czarina
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Rowe, Eric
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Abstract
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is a gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium known for causing gastroenteritis and diarrhea in neonatal piglets. Its ability to form spores increases its odds of survival in the environment (soil, water, and animal gastrointestinal tracts), making it challenging to control. Ribotyping identifies different C. difficile strains, with ribotype 078 being most prevalent in swine. The neonatal piglet microbiome, influenced by the vaginal canal during birth, environment, and milk flora, undergoes dynamic changes postpartum. Formula feeding alters gut flora composition, increasing susceptibility to Clostridium difficile infections (CDIs) compared to suckling piglets. Enteral feeding strategies impact gut maturation and CDI risk, with colostrum-fed piglets showing improved outcomes. Understanding the gut microbiota's role in resisting C. difficile over-colonization is crucial. Increased bacterial diversity correlates with decreased CDI risk. Prevention and treatment strategies, including antibiotics and pre- & probiotics, aim to mitigate CDI severity. Colostrum, particularly hyperimmunized bovine colostrum, shows promise in preventing and treating CDIs in piglets. Further research is needed to explore the efficacy of hyperimmunized bovine colostrum and optimize prevention and treatment strategies to combat C. difficile infections in neonatal piglets effectively. Additionally, research into porcine hyperimmunized colostrum should be investigated to see if species-specific hyperimmunized colostrum may be more beneficial.
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CC0 1.0 Universal, 2024