The benefit of algae meal supplementation during pregnancy on piglet health
Research objectives: 1. Assess the incorporation of PUFAs in offspring's blood and brain tissue following maternal AM supplementation 2. Investigate the effect of maternal AM supplementation on the offspring's antibody-mediated (AbMIR) and cellmediated (CMIR) immune responses 3. Investigate the effect of maternal AM supplementation on the offspring's HPAA response to weaning stress Experimental Design and Methodology: Animals: Fifty-four pregnant sows will be randomly allotted to 3 dietary treatments according to the following design (3 blocks x 3 treatments [4% algae meal (AM), 2% AM, and soybean meal (SBM) as control]. Sows will be housed at the University of Guelph Arkell Swine Research Station. Dietary supplements will commence on gestation day (gd 75) and terminate at parturition (gd 114). This will allow adequate time for the incorporation of PUFAs into the plasma of the sow as previous studies by our group have demonstrated that PUFA levels typically plateau approximately 27 days following consumption. Blood plasma samples will be collected from sows on gd 75 and 105 for PUFA analysis.