Maternal supplementation with Bacillus altitudinis spores improves porcine offspring growth performance and carcass weight

Daniel Crespo Piazuelo, Gillian E. Gardiner, Samir Ranjitkar, Meike A. Bouwhuis, Rebecca Ham, John P. Phelan, Alan Marsh, Peadar G. Lawlor

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of feeding Bacillus altitudinis spores to sows and/or offspring on growth and health indicators. On day (D) 100 of gestation, twenty-four sows were selected and grouped as: control (CON), fed with a standard diet; and probiotic (PRO), fed the standard diet supplemented with B. altitudinis WIT588 spores from D100 of gestation until weaning. Offspring (n 144) from each of the two sow treatments were assigned to either a CON (no probiotic) or PRO (B. altitudinis-supplemented) treatment for 28 d post-weaning (pw), resulting in four treatment groups: (1) CON/CON, non-probiotic-supplemented sow/non-probiotic-supplemented piglet; (2) CON/PRO, non-probiotic-supplemented sow/probiotic-supplemented piglet; (3) PRO/CON, probiotic-supplemented sow/non-probiotic-supplemented piglet and (4) PRO/PRO, probiotic-supplemented sow/probiotic-supplemented piglet. B. altitudinis WIT588 was detected in the faeces of probiotic-supplemented sows and their piglets, and in the faeces and intestine of probiotic-supplemented piglets. Colostrum from PRO sows had higher total solids (P = 0·02), protein (P = 0·04) and true protein (P = 0·05), and lower lactose (P < 0·01) than colostrum from CON sows. Maternal treatment improved offspring feed conversion ratio at D0-14 pw (P < 0·001) and increased offspring body weight at D105 and D127 pw (P = 0·01), carcass weight (P = 0·05) and kill-out percentage (P < 0·01). It also increased small intestinal absorptive capacity and impacted the haematological profile of sows and progeny. There was little impact of pw treatment on any of the parameters measured. Overall, the lifetime growth benefits in the offspring of B. altitudinis-supplemented sows offer considerable economic advantages for pig producers in search of alternatives to in-feed antibiotics/zinc oxide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-420
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2022


  • Colostrum
  • Pig
  • Probiotic
  • Small intestinal morphology
  • Sow
  • Swine


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