Short communication: Use of a new form of protected sodium butyrate to control Salmonella infection in fattening pigs

Alejandro Casanova-Higes, Sara Andrés-Barranco, Raúl C. Mainar Jaime


A field trial on a commercial pig farm was carried out to assess the efficacy of the addition in the diet of fattening pigs of a new form of sodium butyrate protected with a sodium salt of coconut fatty acid distillate (3 kg/ton of feed) to control Salmonella spp. infection. Around 50 pigs were assigned to treatment group and 50 kept as controls. During the fattening period pigs were monthly sampled (serum and feces), and after slaughter fecal and mesenteric lymph nodes samples were collected. No differences in the proportion of shedders were observed between the sodium butyrate and the control groups, but a significant reduction in the number of infected pigs (61% vs. 4%; p<0.01) and in the median ELISA Optical Density percentage values (55.9% vs. 19.4%; p<0.01) at slaughter was observed in pigs under treatment compared to the controls. In addition, an overall significant association between seropositivity and Salmonella shedding and infection was detected. Results from this study add more evidences on the positive effect of butyrate on the control of pig salmonellosis.


swine; organic acids; salmonellosis; feed; zoonoses

Full Text:



Casanova-Higes A, Andrés-Barranco S, Mainar-Jaime RC, 2017. Effect of the addition of protected sodium butyrate to the feed on Salmonella spp. infection dynamics in fattening pigs. Anim Feed Sci Tech 231: 12-18.

Casanova-Higes A, Andrés-Barranco S, Mainar-Jaime RC, 2018. Influence of on-farm pig Salmonella status on Salmonella Shedding at slaughter. Zoonoses Public Health 64 (5): 328-336.

Creus E, Perez JF, Peralta B, Baucells F, Mateu E, 2007. Effect of acidifed feed on the prevalence of Salmonella in market-age pigs. Zoonoses Public Health 54 (8): 314-319.

Dayrit FM, 2015. The properties of lauric acid and their significance in coconut oil. J Am Oil Chem Soc 92: 1-15.

De Busser EV, Dewulf J, Nollet N, Houf K, Schwarzer K, De Sadeleer L, DeZutter L, Maes D, 2009. Effect of organic acids in drinking water during the last 2 weeks prior to slaughter on Salmonella shedding by slaughter pigs and contamination of carcasses. Zoonoses Public Health 56 (3): 129-136.

EFSA & ECDC, 2017. The European Union summary report on trends and sources of zoonoses, zoonotic agents and food-borne outbreaks in 2016. EFSA J 15 (12): 5077-5305.

Gantois I, Ducatelle R, Pasmans F, Haesebrouck F, Hautefort I, Thompson A, Hinton JC, Van Immerseel, F, 2006. Butyrate specifically down-regulates Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 gene expression. Appl Environ Microbiol 72 (1): 946-949.

Lynch H, Leonard FC, Walia K, Lawlor PG, Duffya G, Fanning S, Markey BK, Brady C, Gardiner GE, Argüello H, 2017. Investigation of in-feed organic acids as a low cost strategy to combat Salmonella in grower pigs. Prev Vet Med 139 (pt A): 50-57.

Mainar-Jaime RC, Casanova-Higes A, Andrés-Barranco S, Vico JP, 2018. Looking for new approaches for the use of serology in thecontext of control programmes against pig salmonellosis. Zoonoses Public Health 65 (1): e222-e228.

Michiels J, Missotten J, Rasschaert G, Dierick N, Heyndrickx M, De Smet S, 2012. Effect of organic acids on Salmonella colonization and shedding in weaned piglets in a seeder model. J Food Prot 75 (11): 1974-1983.

Nollet N, Maes D, Duchateau L, Hautekiet V, Houf K, Van Hoof J, De Zuttera L, De Kruif A, Geers R, 2005. Discrepancies between the isolation of Salmonella from mesenteric lymph nodes and the results of serological screening in slaughter pigs. Vet Res 36 (4): 545-555.

OJEU, 2015. Commission notice: Guidelines for the prudent use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine. Official Journal of European Union, 11 Sept; C299/7-C299/26.

Pires AF, Funk JA, Bolin CA, 2013. Longitudinal study of Salmonella shedding in naturally infected finishing pigs. Epidemiol Infect 141 (9): 1928-1936.

Rasschaert G, Michiels J, Tagliabue M, Missotten J, De Smet S, Heyndrickx M, 2016. Effect of organic acids on Salmonella shedding and colonization in pigs on a farm with high Salmonella prevalence. J Food Prot 79 (1): 51-58.

Rossi R, Pastorelli G, Cannata S, Corino C, 2010. Recent advances in the use of fatty acids as supplements in pig diets: A review. Anim Feed Sci Tech 162 (1-2): 1-11.

Rostagno MH, Hurd HS, McKean JD, Ziemer CJ, Gailey JK, Leite RC, 2003. Preslaughter holding environment in pork plants is highly contaminated with Salmonella enterica. Appl Environ Microbiol 69 (8): 4489-4494.

Scherer K, Szabó I, Rösler U, Appel B, Hensel A, Nöckler K, 2008. Time course of infection with Salmonella Typhimurium and its influence on fecal shedding, distribution in inner organs, and antibody response in fattening pigs. J Food Prot 71 (4): 699-705.

Vico JP, Engel B, Buist WG, Mainar-Jaime RC, 2010. Evaluation of three commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of antibodies against Salmonella spp. in meat juice from finishing pigs in Spain. Zoonoses Public Health 57 (s1): 107-114.

Walia K, Argüello H, Lynch H, Leonard FC, Grant J, Yearsley D, Kelly S, Duffy G, Gardiner GE, Lawlor PG, 2016. Effect of feeding sodium butyrate in the late finishing period on Salmonella carriage, seroprevalence, and growth of finishing pigs. Prev Vet Med 131: 79-86.

Walia K, Argüello H, Lynch H, Leonard FC, Grant J, Yearsley D, Kelly S, Duffy G, Gardiner GE, Lawlor PG, 2017. Effect of strategic administration of an encapsulated blend of formic acid, citric acid, and essential oils on Salmonella carriage, seroprevalence, and growth of finishing pigs. Prev Vet Med 137 (Pt A): 28-35.

DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2018164-13888