As the resistance of pathogens to antibiotics and the possibility of antibiotic residues in animal products attract increasing attention, the interest in the use of alternatives to in-feed antibiotics has been growing. Recent research with Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) in pigs suggests that LAB provide a potential alternative to antibiotic strategies. LAB include Lactobacillus
spp, and some other microbes. LAB can adjust the intestinal environment, inhibit or kill pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract and improve the microbial balance in the intestine, as well as regulate intestinal mucosal immunity and maintain intestinal barrier function, thereby benefiting the health of pigs. The related mechanisms for these effects of LAB may include producing microbicidal substances with effects against gastrointestinal pathogens and other harmful microbes, competing with pathogens for binding sites on the intestinal epithelial cell surface and mucin as well as stimulating the immune system. In this review, the characteristics of LAB and their probiotic effects in newborn piglets, weaned piglets, growing pigs and sows are documented.
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