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Dietary zinc supplementation, as zinc oxide nanoparticles, in weanling pig diets

Abstract

Weaning is considered a critical period for piglets due to their greater susceptibility to infection establishment and disease development, especially diarrhea, which can reduce animal performance. Zinc (Zn), in Zn oxide form, is an effective antimicrobial agent and has been widely used in dietary pharmacological doses for diarrhea control and as growth promoter of weanling pigs. However, due to its low absorption, most of the Zn ingested in oxide form is excreted in the feces, which is a potential environmental pollution and may has adverse effects on environmental microbial diversity. Studies have been evaluating new forms of Zn dietary supplementation, such as Zn oxide nanoparticles, used normally in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Its smaller particle size and higher specific surface area provide greater chemical and antibacterial activities, as well as higher absorption rate. However, the scientific studies about its use in animal nutrition are scarce, particularly for weaned pigs. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of Zn oxide nanoparticles supplementation in weanling pig diets on performance, diarrhea occurrence, feed digestibility, blood parameters, organs morphometry and weight, intestine epithelium histology, bacterial counts and Zn excretion in feces. One hundred and ninety-two21-d weaned pigs will be used in a randomized complete block (defined by the initial weight and sex) design experiment with 6 treatments, 8 replications (block)per treatment and 4 animals per experimental unit (pen).Treatments will be: negative control - basal diet with 100 mg de Zn/kg (conventional zinc oxide form) to meet the metabolic requirement of piglets; positive control(basal diet supplemented with pharmacological dose of Zn oxide as growth promoter - 3000 mg de ZnO/kg); and levels of 15, 30, 60 and 120 mg de Zn/kg in Zn oxide nanoparticles form, added on top in basal diet. Diets and water will be given ad libitum to pigs during the 35-d experimental period. Animals will be weighed at 1st, 7th, 21st and 35th day of the experiment. Diarrhea occurrence will be registered every day. Feces samples will be collected to determine feed digestibility and Zn excretion. 2 days before slaughter, blood samples will be collected for determine blood parameters. At 21st day of the experiment an animal per experimental unit will be slaughtered for analyses of intestine epithelium histology and organs morphometry and weight. Samples of jejunum and cecum contents will be collected for microbial counts. Data will be analyzed using the MIXED procedure of SAS® and polynomial regression (for levels of Zn). Orthogonal contrasts will be used to compare the positive control with each dietary level of Zn oxide nanoparticles. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
MILANI, N. C.; SBARDELLA, M.; IKEDA, N. Y.; ARNO, A.; MASCARENHAS, B. C.; MIYADA, V. S.. Dietary zinc oxide nanoparticles as growth promoter for weanling pigs. ANIMAL FEED SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, v. 227, p. 13-23, . (15/05943-6)

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