Effect of dam parity on litter performance, transfer of passive immunity, and progeny microbial ecology

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

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28 Scopus citations


Litter performance and progeny health status may be decreased in progeny derived from pri-miparous sows but improve with increasing parity. The objective was to evaluate litter performance, the production and passive transfer of Ig, and fecal microbial populations in progeny derived from first parity (P1) compared with fourth parity (P4) dams. Litter performance was recorded for P1 (n = 19) and P4 (n = 24) dams including number of pigs/litter (total born, born live, stillbirths, mummified fetuses, prewean mortality, and pigs weaned) and average litter and piglet BW at birth (d 0), d 7, d 14, and at weaning (average d 19). Blood samples were collected from all dams on d 90 and 114 of gestation and d 0 of lactation. Colostrum and milk samples were collected from each dam on d 0, 7, and 14 of lactation for quantification of IgG and IgA. Blood and fecal samples were collected from each litter (n = 6 pigs/litter) on d 1, 7, and 14 after parturition. Circulating IgG and IgA concentrations were quantified in all blood samples. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to characterize similarity and diversity of fecal microbes among progeny. Progeny of P1 dams had decreased average litter BW at d 7 (25.7 vs. 30.0 kg; P < 0.03) and decreased average piglet BW throughout the experiment (d 0, 7, 14, and 19; P < 0.001) compared with P4 progeny. No parity × day interactions were observed with respect to immunoglobulin or microbial analyses. Concentrations of IgA tended to be greater (P = 0.09) in samples of colostrum and milk obtained from P4 compared with P1 dams. Serum IgG concentrations were greater (P < 0.02) in P4 progeny compared with P1 progeny. Results of DGGE revealed that P1 progeny had increased (P < 0.001) microbial similarity on d 7 and decreased (P < 0.03) microbial similarity on d 14 compared with P4 progeny. Progeny of P1 dams tended (P = 0.07) to have a greater Shannon's diversity index compared with P4 progeny on d 1, and P1 progeny had a greater (P < 0.03) Shannon's diversity index compared with P4 progeny on d 7. Litter performance, passive transfer of immunity, and progeny microbial ecology were affected by dam parity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2885-2893
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2013



  • Animal health
  • Dam parity
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Microbial ecology
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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