Enhancing swine immunity


The immune system protects the animal’s body from bacteria, viruses, parasites, toxins, etc. Spread throughout the body, it’s a complex system which involves many types of cells, proteins, organs, and tissues. The swine immune system is broadly divided into three categories. The first line of defence is the animal’s inactive immune system. Its response is general and non-specific. If pathogens manage to pass through it, the adaptive immune system takes over. This second system develops antibodies to various pathogens. As swine are exposed to disease or vaccination, the system remembers previous enemies and responds to the new challenge. The third defence is the passive immune system. As the name suggests, immunity is transferred from another source. Typically, in swine, this relates to the transfer of antibodies from sows to their piglets through the placenta, colostrum, or milk.


Efforts to better understand the immune system

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Our yeast beta-glucan product is a concentrate source of beta-glucans 1.3/1.6, extracted, via an advanced process, from the yeast cell wall. The beta-glucan 1.3/1.6 molecular structure can be identified as an antigen by pattern recognition receptors in the immune system. These receptors are located on the surface of immune cells, mainly macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils and natural killer cells.


Yeast beta-glucans can induce an innate immune response, preparing for a rapid and increased response against future pathogen encounters. It can also stimulate the adaptive immune response and induce antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immunity.

Yeast probiotic and its impact on the immune system

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Actisaf® Sc 47 has scientifically proven results on gut microbiota modulation; competitive exclusion by reducing the pressure of pathogenic bacteria; reduction of local and systemic inflammation, resulting in overall improvement of gut health; nutrient absorption, and the immune system.

This figure shows Actisaf® Sc 47 can inhibit the inflammatory response by upregulating the cytokines and chemokines which are involved in activating both T cells and B cells, including CCL25, PPAR-γ and IL-12p35. This response is obtained by either inducing specific immunity to E. coli or by acting directly on the pathogen itself.

Swine Immunity

Immunity and oxidative stress

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A piglet’s intestine is highly susceptible to oxidative stress due to the cellular accumulation of free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). A delicate balance between antioxidants and pro-oxidants is responsible for the regulation of many physiological processes. Antioxidants in the body are mainly formed by vitamins (vitamin E, A and C), flavonoids, carotenoids and trace minerals (Selenium, Manganese, Zinc, Copper and Iron). These all work together, preventing the damaging effects of free radicals and toxic products on the piglet’s metabolism.


Selsaf® is an organic selenium enriched yeast, produced from a proprietary strain through a controlled and specific process, to guarantee a high level of SeMet, Se Cys and other active selenocomponents. In swine, Selsaf® provides superior antioxidant status, resulting in better GPx activity. This is associated with a higher retention of selenium in tissues, improving the immune system, reproduction parameters, performance, plus meat and carcass quality.

Find out more about swine management

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