Animal Nutrition/Production 3

Research title:

Non invasive markers of intestinal inflammation to evaluate nutritional strategies aimed to reduce the use of antibiotics in monogastrics

Tutor: Prof. Valentino Bontempo

 

Contact details

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

State of the art

Gastrointestinal diseases can cause large economic losses in animal production. Gut health has been extensively controlled by the use of drugs. However, the risk of antimicrobial resistance and public opinion discourage the use of antibiotics and suggest a reassessment of measures to improve the health conditions of the gut. Gut health is a very complex system where a number of interactions, positive and negative, occur immediately after weaning or at any change of diet. Dietary interventions as protein and carbohydrates modulation are fundamental strategies to improve nutrient absorption and reduce production of toxin metabolites. Use of raw materials of high quality and digestibility also reduce intestinal microbial challenge. A strategic supplementation of feed additives, alone or in combination, may also help to enhance gastrointestinal structure and function. In last years a large number of feed additives have been evaluated in order to improve nutrient utilization (enzymes, emulsifiers), to modulate positively gastrointestinal microbiota (probiotics, prebiotics, essential oils) promoting intestinal health. Further knowledge of the complex mechanisms involved in gastrointestinal functionality and health can help to develop strategies for their modulation.

bontempo1

 

Aims of the project

The efficacy and mechanisms of actions of feed additives proposed as alternatives to antibiotics have been developed by using invasive methods. However, the legislation on animal welfare aims to reduce stress and pain in experimental animals, consequently there is a need to identify markers of inflammatory and immune response that can be determined in biological samples collected by non-invasive methods. The development of biomarkers of gut health is imperative to gain understanding of the patho-physiological events that influence the intestinal barrier and could be important tools to evaluate the effects of nutritional strategies and additives supplementation on gut health.

The aim of this project will be to identify some markers of intestinal inflammatory and immune response that can be measured in biological samples, easy to collect by a non-invasive method. Among these, calprotectin is a molecule that is released by cells during an increased inflammatory response caused by an inflammatory stimulus, such as E. Coli or LPS challenges. Calprotectin is  detected in human feces, as marker of intestinal inflammation. In pigs there is only one study that showed that fecal calprotectin could be a non-invasive marker of gut inflammation (Lalles and Fagerhol, 2015). The intestinal immune response can be assessed also by determining IgA in faeces. Other markers of gut health are SCFA (Short Chain Fatty Acids) in feces, as a marker of colonic health. These and other possible markers will be determined in order to evaluate effective nutritional strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics in monogastrics.

bontempo2

 

Recent publications of the tutor in the field

1) Bissonnette N., Jiang X.R., Matte J.J., Guay F., Talbot G., Bontempo V., Gong J., Wang Q.,Lessard M. EFFECT OF A POST-WEANING DIET SUPPLEMENTED WITH FUNCTIONAL FEED ADDITIVES ON ILEAL TRANSCRIPTOME ACTIVITY AND SERUM CYTOKINES IN PIGLETS CHALLENGED WITH LIPOPOLYSACCHARIDE. Vet. Immunol. Immunopathol. 2016, 182: 136-149.

2) Bontempo V., Comi M., Jiang X.R. THE EFFECTS OF A NOVEL SYNTHETIC EMULSIFIER PRODUCT ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE OF CHICKENS FOR FATTENING AND WEANED PIGLETS Animal 2016, 10 (4): 592-597.

3) Jiang X.R., Agazzi A., Awati A., Vitari F., Bento H., Ferrari A., Alborali G.L., Crestani M.,  Domeneghini C., Bontempo V. INFLUENCE OF A BLEND OF ESSENTIAL OILS AND AN ENZYME COMBINATION ON GROWTH PERFORMANCE, MICROBIAL COUNTS, ILEUM MICROSCOPIC ANATOMY AND THE EXPRESSION OF INFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN WEANED PIGLETS FOLLOWING AN ESCHERICHIA COLI INFECTION. An. Feed Sci. Technol. 2015, 209: 219-229.

4) Jiang X.R., Awati A., Agazzi A., Vitari F., Ferrari A., Bento H., Crestani M, Domeneghini C., Bontempo V. EFFECTS OF A BLEND OF ESSENTIAL OILS AND AN ENZYME COMBINATION ON NUTRIENT DIGESTIBILITY, ILEUM HISTOLOGY AND EXPRESSION OF INFLAMMATORY MEDIATORS IN WEANED PIGLETS. Animal 2015, 9 (3): 417-426.

5) Jiang X.R, Zhang H.J., Mantovani G., Alborali G.L., Caputo J.M., Savoini G., Dell’Orto V., Bontempo V. THE EFFECT OF PLANT POLYPHENOLS ON THE ANTIOXIDANT DEFENCE SYSTEM OF WEANED PIGLETS SUBJECTED TO AN ESCHERICHIA COLI CHALLENGE. J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2014, 23: 324-330.