Haemonchus contortus (order Strongylida) is a common parasitic nematode infecting small ruminants and causing significant economic losses worldwide. It induces innate and adaptive immune responses, which are essential for the clearance of this nematode from the host. Ecto-adenosine deaminase (E-ADA) is an enzyme that plays an important role in the immune system, while Zinc (Zn) has been found playing a critical role in E-ADA catalysis. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of Zn supplementation on E-ADA activity in serum of lambs experimentally infected with H.. contortus. To reach this purpose 28 male lambs (in average 25kg) were used. The animals were divided into four groups: A and B composed of healthy animals (uninfected); C and D, infected with H.. contortus. Groups B and D were supplemented with Zn Edetate, subcutaneously with 3mg kg of live weight, on days 11 and 25 post-infection (PI). Blood and fecal samples were collected on the days 11, 25 and 39 PI, in order to assess hematocrit, seric E-ADA, and eggs per gram (EPG) counting, respectively. The animals of groups C and D showed severe hematocrit reduction (days 25 and 39 PI) and were EPG positive (days 11, 25 and 39 PI). On day 41 PI, three animals each group were subjected to necropsy. This procedure showed that animals of groups A and B did not have helminths in abomasum and intestines, while H.. contortus were observed in groups C (5782.5±810.9) and D (6185.0±150.0). Infected and untreated animals (group C) showed a reduction in E-ADA activity, but this was not observed when the animals were supplemented with Zn (Group D). Therefore, based on our results, it was possible to observe that Zn supplementation exercised a positive effect on E-ADA activity in lambs infected with H.. contortus, and did not allow a reduction in E-ADA activity, as occurred in the group infected and without supplementation. However, Zn supplementation was not able to prevent the worm burden.
- Mineral supplementation