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Article

Gastric Ulceration and Immune Suppression in Weaned Piglets Associated with Feed-Borne Bacillus cereus and Aspergillus fumigatus

1
College of Life Science and Engineering, Foshan University, Foshan 528531, China
2
Key Lab of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonoses, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
3
Binzhou Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine Academy of Shandong Province, Binzhou 256600, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 October 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 7 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Bacterial Toxins)
As a multifactorial cause, gastric ulceration-mediated diarrhea is widely prevalent in the weaned piglets, impairing pig health and economic benefits. With full implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs in China, Bacillus cereus (B. cereus) and Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) were identified frequently in porcine feedstuffs and feeds of the animal industry. Association between feed-borne B. cereus and frequent diarrhea remains unclear. In the present study, we conducted a survey of B. cereus and A. fumigatus from feeds and feedstuffs in pig farms during hot season. Interestingly, B. cereus, B. subtilis, B. licheniformis and B. thuringinesis were isolated and identified from piglets’ starter meals to sow feeds, accounting for 56.1%, 23.7%, 13.7% and 6.5%, respectively. Obviously, both B. cereus and B. subtili were dominant contaminants in the survey. In an in vitro study, Deoxynivalenol (DON) contents were determined in a dose-dependent manner post fermentation with B. cereus (405 and DawuC). Subsequently, 36 weaned piglets were randomly assigned to four groups and the piglets simultaneously received the combination of virulent B. cereus (Dawu C) and A. fumigatus while animals were inoculated with B. cereus (Dawu C), A. fumigatus or PBS as the control group. Clinically, piglets developed yellow diarrhea on day 5 and significant reductions of relative body weight were observed in the B. cereus group, and co-infection group. More importantly, IgG titers against Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) were reduced dramatically during 14-day observation in co-infection group, the B. cereus (Dawu C) group or the A. fumigatus group. However, lower Foot and mouth disease (FMD) -specific antibodies were reduced on day 7 compared to those of the control group. Additionally, lower lymphocyte proliferations were found in the B. cereus group and the co-infection group compared to the control group. Postmortem, higher lesions of gastric ulceration were observed in the B. cereus group and the co-infection group from day 7 to day 14 compared with those of the A. fumigatus group and the control group. Compared to the A. fumigatus group, higher DON contents were detected in the stomach inoculated with B. cereus and the co-infection with A. fumigatus. In conclusion, our data support the hypothesis that B. cereus might be associated with severe diarrhea by inducing gastric ulcerations and A. fumigatus might aggravate immune suppression, threating a sustainable swine industry. It is urgently needed to control feed-borne B. cereus contamination. View Full-Text
Keywords: Bacillus cerues; Aspergillus fumigatus; DON; gastric ulcerations; immune responses; piglets Bacillus cerues; Aspergillus fumigatus; DON; gastric ulcerations; immune responses; piglets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, X.; Li, Q.; Wang, Y.; Han, Z.; Qu, G.; Shen, Z.; Huang, S.; He, C. Gastric Ulceration and Immune Suppression in Weaned Piglets Associated with Feed-Borne Bacillus cereus and Aspergillus fumigatus. Toxins 2020, 12, 703. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110703

AMA Style

Li X, Li Q, Wang Y, Han Z, Qu G, Shen Z, Huang S, He C. Gastric Ulceration and Immune Suppression in Weaned Piglets Associated with Feed-Borne Bacillus cereus and Aspergillus fumigatus. Toxins. 2020; 12(11):703. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110703

Chicago/Turabian Style

Li, Xiaohui, Qiang Li, Yihui Wang, Zhenhai Han, Guanggang Qu, Zhiqiang Shen, Shujian Huang, and Cheng He. 2020. "Gastric Ulceration and Immune Suppression in Weaned Piglets Associated with Feed-Borne Bacillus cereus and Aspergillus fumigatus" Toxins 12, no. 11: 703. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12110703

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