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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435

Abstract

LA GRANGE, Louis J.  and  MUKARATIRWA, Samson. Assessment of selected biochemical parameters and humoral immune response of Nile crocodiles (Crocodylus niloticus) experimentally infected with Trichinella zimbabwensis. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2014, vol.85, n.1, pp. 01-10. ISSN 2224-9435.

Fifteen crocodiles were randomly divided into three groups of five animals. They represented high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups of 642 larvae/kg, 414 larvae/kg and 134 larvae/kg bodyweight, respectively. The parameters assessed were blood glucose, creatine phosphokinase (CPK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), aspartate transaminase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT). The humoral immune response to Trichinella zimbabwensis infection was evaluated in all three groups by an indirect ELISA method. The results showed deviations from normal parameters of blood glucose, CPK, LDH, AST and ALT when compared with reported levels in uninfected reptiles. Contrary to studies involving mammals, hypoglycaemia was not observed in the infected groups in this study. Peak values of blood glucose were reached on post-infection (PI) Day 49, Day 42 and Day 35 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of LDH and AST were observed on PI Day 56, Day 49 and Day 42 in the high-infection, medium-infection and low-infection groups, respectively. Peak values of CPK were observed on Day 35 PI in all three groups. Peak ALT values were reached on Day 56 in the high-infection group and on Day 28 PI in both the medium-infection and low-infection groups. No correlations between the biochemical parameters and infection intensity were observed. Peak antibody titres were reached on Day 49 PI in the medium-infection group, and on Day 42 PI in both the high-infection and low-infection groups. Infection intensity could not be correlated with the magnitude of the humoral immune response or time to sero-conversion. Results from this study were in agreement with results reported in mammals infected with other Trichinella species and showed that antibody titres could not be detected indefinitely.

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