The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a traditional Chinese herbal medicine complex supplementation on the growth performance, immunity and serological traits of pigs, and the feasibility of its use as a substitute for antibiotics. Thirty-six weaned pigs LYD with average initial body weight of 10 ± 0.55 kg were randomly divided into three treatments with three replicates. These constituted the control, the antibiotics group (chlortetracycline 100 µg/kg, oxytetracycline 100 µg/kg), and 0.3% Chinese herbal medicine complex group (CHM). Experiment results indicated that the CHM group exhibited significantly increased average feed intake and peripheral blood CD3(+)CD8(+) T cell percentage as compared with those of the antibiotics group (P < 0.05). High-density lipoprotein (HDL) level was greater while low-density lipoprotein + very low-density lipoprotein (LDL + VLDL) level was lower in the CHM group than the control group (P < 0.05). The in vitro results indicated that peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) stimulated by Con-A produced a greater interleukin (IL)-6 level in the CHM group and IL-6 level stimulated by lipopolysaccharide was greater than the antibiotics groups (P < 0.05). Above all, this study has indicated that the addition of Chinese traditional herbal complex to pigs' diets has beneficial results.
© 2011 The Authors. Animal Science Journal © 2011 Japanese Society of Animal Science.