Immunomodulatory effects of whole yeast cells and capsicum in weanling pigs challenged with pathogenic Escherichia coli

Samantha J. Wojnicki, Antrison Morris, Brooke Nicole Smith, Carol W. Maddox, Ryan Neil Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An experiment was conducted to evaluate growth performance, fecal bacterial counts, frequency of diarrhea, and clinical blood parameters in weanling pigs inoculated with enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) who were fed a whole yeast cell (WYC) product and capsicum, a plant essential oil. Weanling pigs (34 barrows and 30 gilts, 21 d of age, 5.90 ± 1.03 kg BW) were allotted to experimental treatments in a randomized complete block design based on litter, sex, and initial BW. Four pigs were individually housed within each containment chamber and assigned to 1 of 4 dietary treatments, which included a control diet without or with 0.2% WYC (CitriStim; ADM, Decatur, IL) or 10 ppm of capsicum (XTract 6933; Pancosma, Geneva, Switzerland), provided either alone or in combination. After receiving diets for 13 d, pigs were orally inoculated with F18 + ETEC and maintained on their assigned diets for an additional 10 d; a separate cohort of 12 pigs receiving the control diet was sham-inoculated using PBS. Body and feeder weights were recorded, and fecal swabs collected, on 0, 5, and 10 d postinoculation (DPI), with blood sampled at 0, 2, 7, and 10 DPI for isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Pigs challenged with ETEC and fed diets containing WYC or capsicum alone had a higher frequency of diarrhea when compared with pigs receiving diets without those compounds (P < 0.05). Total fecal bacterial counts in pigs fed the combination of additives were highest when compared with either additive alone (interaction, P = 0.03) at 10 DPI. Blood leukocyte counts were increased in challenged pigs receiving the combination of additives compared with all other challenged treatment groups (interaction, P = 0.04). The addition of WYC increased (main effect, P = 0.01) lymphocyte counts at 7 DPI. Proportions of CD8 + and CD4 + CD8 + cells were lower in pigs fed the combination of additives compared with pigs fed either additive alone at 0 and 7 DPI. In conclusion, these data indicate that the combination of the 2 additives elicited higher ETEC shedding and circulating leukocyte counts, and reduced the proportions of cytotoxic and memory T-cells than either additive alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1784-1795
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019


  • Escherichia coli
  • essential oil
  • immunity
  • pig
  • yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Immunomodulatory effects of whole yeast cells and capsicum in weanling pigs challenged with pathogenic Escherichia coli'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this