Deoxynivalenol (DON) Contamination of Feed and Grinding Fineness: Are There Interactive Implications on Stomach Integrity and Health of Piglets?
The common feed contaminant deoxynivalenol (DON) was reported to influence the morphology of the pars nonglandularis (PN) of porcine stomach. Moreover, finely ground feed is known to trigger the development of ulcers and other pathologies of PN while coarsely ground feed protects from such lesions. The interactions between grinding fineness and DON contamination of feed were not examined so far. Therefore, both finely and coarsely ground feeds were tested either in the absence or presence of a DON contaminated wheat on growth performance and health of rearing piglets, including stomach integrity. DON contamination significantly reduced feed intake and serum albumin concentration with this effect being more pronounced after feeding the coarsely ground feed. Albeit at a higher level, albumin concentration was also reduced after feeding the finely ground and uncontaminated feed. Finely ground and DON-contaminated feed caused a significantly more pronounced lymphoplasmacytic infiltration both of PN and pars glandularis, partly paralleled by lymph follicle formation and detritus filled foveolae and tubes suggesting a local immune response probably triggered by epithelial lesions. It is concluded that DON contamination of feed exacerbates the adverse effects of finely ground feed on stomach mucosal integrity.