Oregano Essential Oil and Purple Garlic Powder Effects on Intestinal Health, Microbiota Indicators and Antimicrobial Resistance as Feed Additives in Weaning Piglets

Daniel Serrano-Jara, Jorge Rivera-Gomis*, José Antonio Tornel, María José Jordán, Cristina Martínez-Conesa, María José Cubero Pablo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Finding alternatives to zinc oxide is a pressing issue for the pig production sector. We studied the impact of the bioactive components degradation of oregano essential oil (OEO) and purple garlic powder (PGP) during storage in silos, their effect on the morphometry of the jejunum and ileum and the cecal microbiota as intestinal health indicators in piglets during the post-weaning period. We also monitored antimicrobial resistance in the commensal indicator E. coli. Histological parameters and intestinal microbiota were measured in 140 piglets weaned at 21 days of age. Seven dietary treatments were used: a negative control group (basal diet), a positive control group with ZnO (3000 mg/kg of food), two groups with OEO at 0.4% and 1.2%, respectively, two groups with PGP 0.4% and 2%, respectively, and a group with OEO with 1.2% combined with PGP with 2%. Each group of piglets received the treatment for seven weeks, from weaning, before samples were taken. Antibiotic resistance profiles were measured in 81 E. coli strains. On this occasion, only the control groups, ZnO, OEO 1.2%, PGP 2% and OEO 1.2% + PGP 2% were used, and the samples were obtained from the cecal content. A progressive loss of the bioactive components of OEO and PGP was observed during the 34 days of storage (p < 0.05). PGP 2%, OEO 1.2% and their combination showed results similar to ZnO (p > 0.05), or superior in the study of intestinal morphometry and the values of E. coli and Lactobacillus. All categories showed high levels of resistance. Only the strains isolated from the OEO 1.2% group did not show resistance to colistin and presented the lowest resistance values. In general, high doses of the additives studied showed the best results, obtaining levels like or higher than those offered by ZnO.
Original languageEnglish
Article number111
JournalAnimals
Volume14
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 28 Dec 2023

Keywords

  • General Veterinary
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • garlic
  • intestinal health
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • oregano
  • ZnO
  • weaned piglets

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