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Early immunocastration of male pigs

effects on physiology, performance and behaviour

Brunius, Carl (2011). Early immunocastration of male pigs. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2011:84
ISBN 978-91-576-7628-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of prepubertal or early pubertal vaccination against GnRH using Improvac® (Pfizer Ltd.) on boar taint, reproductive organs, anabolic hormones, cytochrome P450 enzymes, performance and behaviour. Crossbred male pigs (n=192) were randomly allocated to four groups: one group surgically castrated without anaesthesia, a second group receiving early vaccination (at ages 10 and 14 weeks), a third standard vaccinated group (at ages 16 and 20 weeks), and a fourth group of entire male pigs.

After the second injection, antibody titres increased rapidly and testicular steroids decreased to the low levels of castrates. Reproductive organs were small in vaccinated pigs and smaller after early vaccination. Spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis were disrupted with a more severe, possibly irreversible effect after early vaccination. Oestradiol was suppressed for castrated and vaccinated pigs. IGF-1 was lowest for castrates and highest for entire male pigs, with vaccinated pigs at an intermediate level.

Hepatic CYP450 mRNA expression was highest for castrated and early vaccinated pigs, and lowest for entire male pigs, suggesting suppression at the transcriptional level of CYP1A2, CYP2A and CYP2E1 by testicular steroids. This did not correspond exactly with protein expression and activities, suggesting other regulations for some CYP450s. The levels of skatole and androstenone in adipose tissue were low in castrated and vaccinated pigs, whereas entire male pigs had elevated levels.

Daily weight gain and feed conversion did not differ between groups and income per carcass did not differ between castrated or vaccinated pigs. The income was lower for entire male pigs, due to the additional cost for boar taint analyses and reduced payment for tainted carcasses. After vaccination, the frequency of interactions, both problematic and non-problematic, decreased from the levels of entire males to those of surgically castrated pigs.

Under these conditions, early vaccination with Improvac can be used to control boar taint, testicular function and behaviour with unaffected profitability. Thus, the flexi¬bility of vaccination may be extended, implying advantages in terms of animal welfare and sustainability.

Authors/Creators:Brunius, Carl
Title:Early immunocastration of male pigs
Subtitle:effects on physiology, performance and behaviour
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :October 2011
Number of Pages:79
I.Brunius, C. and Zamaratskaia, G. A modified high performance liquid chromatographic method for simultaneous quantification of skatole and indole in porcine plasma (submitted).
II.Brunius, C., Zamaratskaia, G., Andersson, K., Chen, G., Norrby, M., Madej, A. and Lundström, K. Early vaccination with Improvac® - effects on boar taint, hormones and reproductive organs. Vaccine (accepted).
III.Einarsson, S., Brunius, C., Wallgren, M., Lundström, K., Andersson, K., Zamaratskaia, G. and Rodriguez-Martinez, H. (2011) Effects of early vaccination with Improvac® on the development and function of reproductive organs of male pigs. Animal Reproduction Science 127(1-2), 50-55.
IV.Brunius, C., Rasmussen, K. M., Lacoutière, H., Andersson, K., Ekstrand, B and Zamaratskaia, G. (2011) Expression and activities of hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP1A, CYP2A, and CYP2E1) in entire and castrated male pigs. Animal (in press, doi:10.1017/S1751731111001674).
V.Andersson, K., Brunius, C., Zamaratskaia, G. and Lundström, K. (2011). Early vaccination with Improvac® - effects on performance and behaviour of male pigs. Animal (in press, doi:10.1017/S1751731111001200).
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Dept. of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7628-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L52 Animal physiology - Growth and development
L Animal production > L53 Animal physiology - Reproduction
Q Food science > Q01 Food science and technology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Food Science
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:boars, castration, vaccination, sex hormones, steroids, skatole, cytochrome p450, testes, behaviour, pork, boar taint, meat performance, profitability
Keywords:early immunocastration, male pigs, boar taint, androstenone, skatole, testicular function, hormones, cytochrome P450, performance, behaviour
Permanent URL:
ID Code:8347
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Food Science (until 161231)
Deposited By: Carl Brunius
Deposited On:07 Oct 2011 11:03
Metadata Last Modified:06 Oct 2016 12:51

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