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Zinc oxide (ZnO) supplied at pharmacological dosage in diets of piglets reduces post-weaning diarrhea and improves growth performance. However, it may cause environmental accumulation and induce bacterial resistance. The effects on gut microbiota and integrity in weaned piglets of conventional ZnO at nutritional and pharmacological dosage (110 and 2,400 mg/kg Zn, respectively) were compared to HiZox®, a potentiated form of zinc oxide, at 110 and 220 mg/kg Zn. Transepithelial electrical resistance of distal small intestinal mucosa was higher for pigs fed HiZox® as compared with groups fed 110 mg/kg Zn of conventional ZnO, in line with a trend for higher gene expression of claudin‐1 and zona occludens‐1.

Zinc dose and source can affect intestinal integrity

HiZox® at 110 and 220 mg/kg Zn increased intestinal alkaline phosphatase gene transcript as compared to conventional ZnO at 110 mg/kg Zn, whereas HiZox®, at 110 mg/kg Zn exhibited higher Zn concentrations in mucosa as compared to conventional ZnO at 110 mg/kg Zn. In conclusion, the alternative ZnO reduced digesta Enterobacteriaceae numbers and improved gut integrity, albeit similar or better, depending on the dosage, to the effects of pharmacological dosage of conventional ZnO.

Source : J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr. 2018;1–11

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