Confirmation of microbial maternal imprinting effect presented at French congress
Lallemand Animal Nutrition is proud to support and participate once again in the French swine research congress Journées de la Recherche Porcine (JRP), organized by IFIP and INRAE. At the congress, research scientist and metagenomics expert Caroline Achard, Ph.D., presented a poster, confirming the role of the microbial maternal imprinting concept on piglet growth performance (Bravo de Laguna et al., 2023). Or, in other terms, how the mother’s diet influences piglet performance post-weaning, possibly through the modulation of the gut microbiota.
What is maternal imprinting?
Maternal imprinting, also defined as maternal programming in the literature, refers to the process by which an acute or chronic stimulus, in utero, establishes a permanent response in the fetus that impacts physiological function later in life (Estienne et al., 2008). Depending on the nature and timing of the stimulus, various physiological systems can be differentially affected.
This concept can be broadened to the early influence of the sow on their offspring that can last long after weaning. This includes the inoculation of the intestinal microbiota, the transfer of immunity, the impact on growth performance and feed efficiency.
In previous studies, the beneficial effect of Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079 (LEVUCELL SB) on sow performances has been demonstrated, as well as the effects on the fecal microbial profile of the piglets born from yeast-supplemented sows: the microbial maternal imprinting concept (Le Floc’h et al., 2021)
Long-lasting maternal imprinting effect
In the present study, researchers looked at the effect of supplementing lactating sows with S. cerevisiae boulardii CNCM-I-1079 (from 1 week prior to farrowing) on piglet performance. Results included:
- Piglets born from the live yeast-supplemented sows were significantly heavier at weaning and up to 35 days post-weaning than those from the control sows.
- Piglets from the supplemented sows grew faster (Figure 1).
This study confirms that the long-lasting effect of maternal supplementation on the piglet microbiota was translated into performance benefits. The authors concluded:
“Feeding Saccharomyces cerevisiae boulardii CNCM I-1079 to lactating sows has a positive effect on the performance of the progeny during the nursery period. The improvement in performance may be partially explained by changes in gut microbiota.”
Figure 1: Influence of S.c. boulardii CNCM I-1079 supplementation to sows on the average daily gain of their piglets after weaning *=pValue<0,05
For more information on the microbial maternal imprinting concept in swine, download this white paper.