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Immunotoxicological effects on piglets of feeding sows diets containing aflatoxins
  1. L. Silvotti, DSc, PhD1,
  2. C. Petterino, DVM1,
  3. A. Bonomi, DVM, PhD2 and
  4. E. Cabassi, DVM, PhD1
  1. 1 Istituto di Anatomia Patologica Veterinaria, Università di Parma, Via Del Taglio 8, 43100 Parma, Italy
  2. 2 Istituto di Zootecnica, Alimentazione e Nutrizione, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Parma, Italy

Abstract

Three groups of four Large White sows were fed diets containing either 800 ppb purified aflatoxin Bi (group 1), 800 ppb purified aflatoxin Gl (group 2) or 400 ppb Bi and 400 ppb Gl (group 3) throughout gestation and lactation. A control group of four sows was fed a diet free of aflatoxins. Aflatoxins Bi and Ml were found in milk samples taken five and 25 days after parturition from the sows of group 1, aflatoxin Gl was present in the milk of the sows of group 2 and all three aflatoxins were present in samples from the sows of group 3. The concentration of aflatoxin in the milk was about 1000-fold lower than that in the feed, but increased over the 25 days after parturition. The piglet suckling on a central teat was selected from each sow, given sow milk until the fourth day of age, and was then free to eat prepared feed while suckling. At the 25th day of age the selected piglets were removed from the sow and sacrificed. Blood samples were collected from each piglet and cellular populations were separated for immunological measurements: an in vitro lymphocyte proliferation test, and tests to derive the phagocytic activity, phagocytic index and superoxide anion production of monocytederived macrophages were carried out along with studies on the motility, differential chemotaxis and chemotactic index of circulating granulocytes. The lymphoproliferative response to mitogens was reduced and monocyte-derived macrophages failed to efficiently produce superoxide anions after oxidative burst stimulation in vitro, while their ability to phagocytose red blood cells was not compromised. Granulocytic cells showed a reduction of chemotactic response in vitro to chemoattractant bacteria factor and casein.

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