Weanling pigs may benefit from ingesting Rhodococcus opacus because the bacteria produces triglycerides, an energy substrate important for immune activity. "By providing an alternative energy source, the pigs are most likely going to be able to fight off infections more efficiently," said Janet Donaldson, an assistant professor at Mississippi State University. The next step would be to test that hypothesis with an immune challenge. If successful, use of the bacteria may be adopted by pork producers, and the findings could one day have applications in human medicine as well.
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