The influence of protein nutrition on porcine trypanosomosis was investigated in this study. Thirty six landrace/large white cross weanling pigs were used. Upon purchase, these were divided into two groups of 18 pigs each and these were housed separately to enable them adapt to our animal house management regimen. Post-adaptation, the pigs were divided into 6 groups A(1) and A(2), B(1), and B(2), and C(1) and C(2) (n=6). A(1) and A(2) were fed diet A(1), B(1) and B(2) diet B while C(1) and C(2) were fed diet C with 28%, 20% and 16% crude protein, respectively. Two-week post-adaptation groups A(1), B(1), and C(1) were infected with 3×10(6)Trypanosoma brucei brucei organisms intraperitoneally. Body weight, temperature and Packed Cell Volume of all group members were determined a week prior to infection, on the day of infection and weekly thereafter till end of the study. Serum biochemistry was also concurrently determined. Three days post-infection, blood was collected from all the members of A(1), B(1) and C(1) and thoroughly screened microscopically for the presence of trypanosome organisms. This was repeated on subsequent days till all the infected animals developed patency by showing parasitaemia under wet mount. The result of this study showed that infection did not have any significant effect on the rate of weight gain except in group C (p≤0.05). Moreover, infections caused significant hyperthermia in all the infection groups (p≤0.05) with diet A showing the least response and C the most severe. Furthermore, diet did not have any effect on parasite establishment or parasitaemia as the prepatent period was similar in all the infection groups. There was also significant reduction in PCV whose severity also correlated with reduction in the protein dietary quality. Similar observation was also made on the total serum protein where significant hyperproteinaemia correlated with increasing dietary protein and the uninfected controls having higher serum protein relative to the infected. There was in addition parasite induced hypoalbuminaemia whose severity was also graduated in favour of increasing protein level. The study demonstrated the protective influence of dietary protein on some of the pathophysiological features of porcine trypanosomosis.
Veterinary Parasitology 10/2010; 173(3-4):193-9. DOI:10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.07.004