After weaning piglets frequently have diarrhoea associated with an enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infection. Alternative plant protein sources such as peas, faba beans and lupins may contribute in preventing gastrointestinal problems. In the small intestinal segment perfusion model, the anti-diarrhoea effect of pea and faba bean fractions on net absorption of fluid was investigated. Segments with a cranial inflow tube and a caudal outflow tube were fitted in the small intestine of 5-week old anaesthetized piglets. The odd numbered segments were infused with ETEC and the even segments with PBS, whereupon the segments were perfused over 8 h. Pea meal, pea hulls, protein-enriched pea meal and starch-enriched pea meal were perfused in 4 piglets in 4 pairs of segments (an uninfected and an adjacent ETEC-infected) with saline as a control in another pair of segments. Faba bean meal, faba bean hulls, protein-enriched faba bean meal and starch-enriched faba bean meal were perfused in another 4 piglets. Net fluid absorption was calculated from the difference between the volumes of inflow and outflow divided by the surface area. ETEC induced loss of net intestinal fluid absorption was shown to be decreased in the segments perfused with pea hulls and faba bean hulls, while there was no effect of the other pea or faba bean products. Although hulls of pea and faba bean did not completely eliminate the decreased fluid absorption after ETEC challenge, these results indicate that hulls of pea and faba bean may promote net fluid absorption in piglets during post weaning diarrhoea.
- enterotoxigenic escherichia-coli