Effects of lactose and yeast-dried milk on growth performance, fecal microbiota, and immune parameters of nursery pigs

H. Tran, R. Moreno, E. E. Hinkle, J. W. Bundy, J. Walter, T. E. Burkey, P. S. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary lactose alone or in combination with a yeast-dried milk product (50% dried near-dated milk and 50% dried yeast) on growth performance, fecal microbiota, and immune status in nursery pigs (Sus scrofa). A total of 108 pigs (age, 20 ± 1 d; initial BW, 6.07 ± 0.03 kg) were randomly allotted to 18 pens (6 pigs/pen; 6 pens/treatment). Dietary treatments were: 1) control, 2) control + lactose, and 3) control + lactose + 5% yeast-dried milk. Except for the control diet, diets in Phase 1 (wk 1 and 2), 2 (wk 3 and 4), and 3 (wk 5) contained 20, 15, and 5% total lactose, respectively. Blood samples were collected from all pigs at d 0, 14, 28, and 35 to determine circulating IgG, IgA, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentrations. At d 0, 7, and 14, fecal samples were collected (n = 18; 6 pigs/treatment) to evaluate fecal microbiota using PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Compared with pigs fed the control diet, pigs fed lactose and lactose with yeast-dried milk had greater (P < 0.05) ADG and tended (P = 0.07) to have greater BW and ADFI during Phase 1. There were no differences for BW, ADG, or ADFI during Phase 2, 3, or the overall experimental period. A main effect of treatment was observed for circulating IgA where control pigs had greater (P < 0.01) IgA compared with pigs fed lactose with or without yeast-dried milk; however, no effects of treatment were observed (P > 0.10) for circulating IgG or TNF-α. No differences (P > 0.10) in microbial diversity indices were observed on d 7 or 14 among treatments. However, a shift in microbial composition was observed on d 7, with lactose-fed pigs having greater (P < 0.05) putative L. johnsonii staining intensity compared with control pigs and pigs fed lactose plus yeast-dried milk. On d 14, L. delbrueckii was eliminated (P < 0.04) by feeding lactose with or without yeast-dried milk. This research indicates that growth performance, immune status, and fecal microbiota are affected by dietary inclusion of lactose alone, or in combination with yeast-dried milk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3049-3059
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Growth performance
  • Immune parameters
  • Lactose
  • Microbiota
  • Pigs
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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