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Effect of heat stress on the efficacy of a carbohydrase admixture in growing pigs fed wheat-based diets
Carbohydrases have been used to improve fiber utilization in monogastric animals. However, their effects on animal performance and nutrient digestibility have been inconsistent in pigs. The efficacy of carbohydrases has been suggested to depend on enzyme activity and fiber composition, but recent evidence suggests other factors like environmental conditions may play significant role. The effect of heat stress (HS) on the efficacy of a multienzyme carbohydrase blend in growing pigs was investigated. It was hypothesized that HS alters the efficacy of carbohydrases. Ninety-six growing pigs (gilts:barrows; 1:1) (initial BW of 20.15±0.18 kg) were randomly assigned to 6 treatments, with 8 replicates of 2 pigs replicate pen in a 3×2 factorial arrangement: three levels of carbohydrase (0, 1X or 2X) and two room temperature conditions (20oC constant or cyclical 28oC night time and 35oC daytime). The 1X is the recommended commercial dose of the enzyme (50g/tonne) and provides 1250 visco-units endo-β-1,4-xylanase, 4600 units α-L-arabinofuranosidase and 860 visco-units endo-1,3(4)-β-glucanase per kg of feed. The 2X dose was 100g/tonne. Pigs were fed ad libitum for 28 days and 1 pig per pen was sacrificed at d28. Heat stress increased the respiratory rate and skin temperature (P<0.001). There was no enzyme × temperature effect on response criteria. Enzyme treatment quadratically increased BW d28 (P=0.025), ADG (P=0.022) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) (P=0.032) with 1X being the highest. Heat stress reduced the BW at d14 (P=0.002) and d28 (P=0.006), average daily gain (ADG) (P=0.005) and ADFI (P<0.001). However, there was a trend of increased gain: feed ratio (G/F) (P=0.093) in the HS pigs compared to the thermoneutral (TN). Heat stress increased apparent jejunal digestibility (AJD) of energy (P=0.039) and apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of calcium (P=0.007). ADFI was positively correlated to ADG (r=0.57; P<0.001) but negatively correlated to G/F (r=-0.42; P=0.003). Enzyme supplementation increased in vitro viscosity at 3, 4 and 5 hours (P value). Heat stress reduced serum glucose concentration on d1 (P=0.0002) but increased serum non esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentration (P=0.002). A similar trend to NEFA was observed in triacylglycride (TAG). In the jejunum, carbohydrases had trend for increased villi height (P=0.07) while HS reduced villi height (P=0.02). Heat stress increased the jejunal mRNA abundance of IL1β in the jejunum (P<0.001). There was a trend for a reduction in ileal MUC2 (P=0.092), occludin (P=0.091) due to HS, with the trend increasing in PEPT1 (P=0.064). There was no effect of HS on alpha diversity of fecal microbiome, but sampling day affected beta diversity. There was an increase in the abundance of pathogenic bacteria (like Clostridium) in the HS group. Heat stress did not alter the efficacy of carbohydrase but both carbohydrase and HS modulate pig performance independently.