Improved weight gain in pigs using levamisole as an immunomodulator
Sanjaya Kumar, BVSc&AH, MSc; Catherine E. Dewey, DVM, MSc, PhD; Robert M. Friendship, DVM, MSc; Sandi L. Bowland, BSc; Patricia E. Shewen, DVM, MSc, PhD
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Objective: To determine the effect of two different treatment regimens of levamisole on average daily gain (ADG) from birth to weaning and to 7 weeks of age and from mortality and culling up to the age of 7 weeks, and its effect on the proportion of circulating lymphocytes.
Methods: Piglets (N = 1606) from a commercial segregated early-weaned (SEW) herd were randomly assigned either to receive one injection of levamisole within 24 hours of birth (T1 group), to receive levamisole once within 24 hours of birth and again at weaning (T2 group), or to a control group. Pigs were individually weighed within 24 hours of birth, at weaning, and at 7 weeks of age. Differential leukocyte count (DLC) was measured in the peripheral blood of 121 pigs before and after each treatment to examine the effect of levamisole on the proportional lymphocyte count.
Results: The treated pigs weighed significantly more than the control pigs at weaning (P<.001). From birth to 7 weeks of age, both the T1 and the T2 group gained significantly more (P<.001) than the control group. Neither mortality nor culling differed significantly among treatment and control groups. Treated pigs had a higher proportion of lymphocytes 24 hours after the first treatment than the control pigs (P<.05). There was no difference in the proportion of lymphocytes 24 hours after the second treatment.
Implications: Treatment with levamisole at birth and at weaning is associated with an increase in average daily gain (ADG).
Keywords: weight gain, weaning, levamisole, immunomodulation, SEW, ADG
Cite as: Kumar S, Dewey CE, Friendship RM, et al. Improved weight gain in pigs using levamisole as an immunomodulator. J Swine Health Prod 1999;7(3):103-107.
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