On the carbohydrate metabolic response to an experimental infection with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae (swine dysentery) in pigs
The carbohydrate metabolic response to experimentally induced swine dysentery was studied in crossbreed pigs. Twelve pigs, with a mean weight of ~20 kg, were orally inoculated with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae strain B204. After an incubation period of 6-20 days, five animals developed swine dysentery with haemorrhagic diarrhoea and two animals developed non-haemorrhagic diarrhoea. Five animals remained healthy throughout the study. Blood samples from the animals with clinical signs of disease were collected before inoculation, several times during the course of the dysentery and finally after recovery. Blood samples from animals that remained healthy were obtained before inoculation and at slaughter four weeks later. Glucose, lactate and cortisol concentrations did not differ between sampling occasions in the healthy animals. In the sick animals, higher concentrations were observed when haemorrhagic diarrhoea occurred (mean peak value ± SD: glucose 7.6 ± 0.7 mmol/L; lactate 4.5 ± 1.7 mmol/L; cortisol 278 ± 86 nmol/L) compared to before inoculation (mean value ± SD: glucose 5.1 ± 1.2 mmol/L; lactate 1.3 ± 0.5 mmol/L; cortisol 24 ± 11 nmol/L). At slaughter, tissue samples from m. biceps femoris, m. longissimus dorsi, myocardium and liver were collected from 10 pigs and glycogen analysis was performed. Glycogen concentrations did not differ between the healthy pigs and those that developed swine dysentery: concentrations were highest in the liver and lowest in the heart. In conclusion, experimental infection with B. hyodysenteriae results in alteration of the carbohydrate metabolism, which is characterised by a transient increase in blood glucose and lactate concentrations during the initial phase of the haemorrhagic period of the disease.