The last World Buiatrics Congress was a great opportunity for our team to meet with ruminant scientists, veterinary practitioners, professionals, and students from around the world and discuss ruminant health. Three studies illustrating how solutions including probiotic yeasts and specific yeast fractions can support calf health were shared by the Lallemand R&D team. An additional study focused on maternal imprinting in ewes and the beneficial effects of probiotics on colostrum and immunity transfer to lambs.
Together, this shows how microbial-based solutions can help support young animals’ immune systems, rumen development, digestive health, and oxidative status, which can lead to improved colostrum quality.
“This congress was really a nice opportunity for exchanges and discussions about the scientific novelties in ruminant health and production. Lots of innovative concepts were presented and we see that research was really active during the past years. This type of international and high-quality event was missed, and it is a chance to be able to be part of it again,” commented Lysiane Dunière, research scientist for Lallemand Ruminant Center of Excellence.
Highlights of young ruminant health research
Probiotics and derivatives can contribute to calf health by supporting the immune response after vaccination, the reduction of diarrhea, or the enhancement of rumen development.
Kazusa Mori, DVM, and Lysiane Dunière, Ph.D., respectively presented results on calves supplemented with the live yeast Saccharomyces c. boulardii CNCM I-1079 (PROTERNATIVE) and the specific yeast fractions, YANG.
- The first study1 conducted in Japan with partner NOSAN Corp. focused on the enhancement of young calves’ immune response at vaccination against Histophilus somni, Pasteurella multocida, and Mannheimia haemolytica. The researchers looked at the level of immunization through the concentration of antibodies and cytokine genes activation. The study demonstrates that calves fed the live yeast Saccharomyces c. boulardii CNCM I-1079 showed an improved vaccine response and demonstrate an innovative way to boost vaccine response by activating the immune system through live yeast supplementation in the milk replacer.
- A second study in dairy weaning calves investigated the benefits to the fecal microbiota of a specific yeast fraction combination (YANG) included in milk replacer during the pre-weaning period.2 The study shows a reduction of diarrhea cases and respiratory diseases in calves fed the yeast derivatives. The researchers also looked at the fecal microbiota and found the yeast derivative supplement increased milk-associated bacteria (Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus) and beneficial mucinolytic Akkermansia, associated with the stimulation of mucine production and immune system regulation. It was hypothesized this effect on digestive microbiota could have improved milk metabolism and optimized nutrient assimilation for the treated calves. Overall, growth performance and the health status of the neonates were improved, leading to a significant reduction in veterinary treatments and weaning age (-3 days).
Dr. Dunière and Marine Gauthier also presented results of studies with the specific live yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 (LEVUCELL SC), widely documented for its beneficial effects on the establishment of young ruminant microbiota and rumen development. These studies in calves and ewes illustrate how the live yeast support rumen development and health.
- One study3 conducted in Spain on weaning calves showed how the live yeast cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 improves young calves’ zootechnical performances (feed efficiency, daily growth) and positively influences the rumen microbiota. In particular, fibrolytic populations were increased with the supplement, which is indicative of a potentially improved ability to digest fibers. Lactate utilizers populations of Megasphaera and Selenomonas genera were increased, which is a sign of better rumen pH control. The improved performance could be translated into a 9:1 ROI for the farmer.
- The other study was conducted with gestating ewes at INRAE4. This study investigated the maternal imprinting effect of the live yeast cerevisiae CNCM I-1077 supplementation in late gestation, with a focus on the dam’s oxidative status, rumen microbiota, and colostrum quality. This study confirms the dam’s metabolism; digestive microbiota and oxidative status were significantly impaired by the challenges of parturition. By stabilizing key functional microbial populations and mitigating the ewes’ metabolic and oxidative status, the live yeast supplement helps mitigate this impact. Post-partum, colostrum quality was significantly improved, leading to heavier lambs at birth and better immune passive transfer. These effects are expected to enhance future animal performance and health status.