Four groups of seven-week-old pigs weighing about 9 kg were fed for three weeks a prestarter that contained 0.5, 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 mg/kg of highly purified T-2 toxin. The average daily intakes of toxin by the pigs were 0.38, 0.81, 1.24 and 1.43 mg, respectively. The experimental and control pigs were immunised with 5 ml aluminum hydroxide gel-absorbed purified horse globulin on the first and fourth days of the treatment period. Blood samples were withdrawn on days 7, 14 and 21 and used for the determination of the titre of anti-horse globulin antibody, for an in vitro lymphocyte proliferation test, using purified horse globulin, phytohaemagglutinin and concanavalin-A and for determinations of the immune complex, the cytotoxic reaction and the phagocytic activity and phagocytic index of circulating granulocytes. The samples taken on day 21 were also used to determine the erythrocyte count, the mean cell volume of the erythrocytes, the haematocrit, the blood haemoglobin concentration, the leucocyte count and the proportion of T lymphocytes. At the end of the experiment samples were taken from the thymus, spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes for histological examination. The diets that contained 2 and 3 mg T-2 toxin/kg caused a significant decrease in the red blood cell count, the mean corpuscular volume and the haemoglobin concentration. A significant decrease in the leucocyte count and the proportion of T lymphocytes was observed in all the treatment groups. There were also dose-dependent, significant decreases in antibody formation and in the blastogenic transformation of lymphocytes, and mild to moderate reactive processes were observed histologically in the lymphoid organs.
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