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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465

Onderstepoort j. vet. res. vol.75 n.2 Pretoria  2008




Studies on effects of lactose on experimental Trypanosoma vivax infection in Zebu cattle. 1. Plasma kinetics of intravenously administered lactose at onset of infection and pathology



M.Y. FatihuI; S. AdamuI; I.A. UmarII; N.D.G. IbrahimI; L.O. EduvieIII; K.A.N. EsievoI

IDepartment of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
IIDepartment of Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
IIINational Animal Production Research Institute, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria




Lactose in normal saline was administered intravenously to a group of Zebu cattle infected with Trypanosoma vivax to determine the blood plasma kinetics at onset of an experimental infection and its ability to protect tissues against damage as part of preliminary studies to determine its suitability for use in the treatment of trypanosomosis. Significantly (P < 0.01) higher lactose concentrations were observed in the T. vivax-infected bulls at 30 min and 1 h (P < 0.05) post-infection (p.i.) and by 4 h p.i. the plasma lactose remained above the level prior to infusion, after which it fell slightly below the pre-infusion level in the uninfected group. Calculated pharmacokinetic parameters revealed delayed excretion of lactose in the T. w'vax-infected group soon after infection. The total body clearance (CIB) was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced. The biological half-life (t ½), elimination rate constant (ke) and apparent volume of distribution (Vd) were relatively decreased (P > 0.05) as a result of the T. vivax infection. Retention of lactose in the plasma was attributed to decreased plasma clearance. It is suggested that the presence of trypanosomes in circulation rather than organic lesions could have been responsible for the delay observed in the excretion of lactose.
At 12 weeks p.i., when the experiment was terminated, the group infected and given lactose infusion (despite higher parasitaemia) had no gross or histopathological lesions in the brain, spleen, lymph nodes, heart, kidneys, liver and testes. However, the group infected but not infused with lactose were emaciated, had pale mucosae, watery blood, general muscular atrophy, serous atrophy of coronary fat and other adipose tissue, hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, swollen and oedematous lymph nodes, all of which are suggestive of trypanosomosis. Histopathological lesions included narrowing of Bowman's space and hypercellularity of glomerular tufts in the kidneys with the mean glomerular tuft nuclear indices (GTNs) in the group significantly higher (P< 0.01) than the mean GTNs of the lactose-infused and control bulls. Degenerative changes occurred in the myocardium, spleen, testes and epididymides. The tesicular and epididymal lesions are indicative of male reproductive dysfunction.

Keywords: Cattle, lactose, pathology, plasma kinetics, Trypanosoma vivax



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Accepted for publication 21 April 2008-Editor



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