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Effects of Cations on the Haematological Indices of <i>Salmonella enterica</i> Challenged Rabbits

TI Ojiezeh
NI Ibeh
FJ Okoko


Attempt to study the effects of trace elements on the immune indices of Salmonella enteric challenged rabbits was carried out to evaluate the degree of correlation between the level of these cations and the proliferation of white blood cells. Thirty-five female adult New Zealand White rabbits were grouped into seven, 5 pairs per each of cations Mg2+ , Zn2+ and Cu2+ , and supplemented with 1 ml / day of single (x1) and double (x2) strength concentration of the cations for 24 days; the control was not supplemented with any cation. All the groups were challenged with oral administration of 0.5 ml of 106 CFU / ml of saline suspension of S. enterica with a sterile syringe for three exposures on alternative days. Blood samples were collected aseptically from the venous puncture of the ear lobes or otherwise anaesthetized and cardiac blood sampled. The haematological indices studied showed significant differences among those supplemented with magnesium and zinc from the control group at P < 0.05, but there was no statistically significant difference between copper – supplemented group and control group at P<0.05. The result also revealed leucopenia lymphocytosis in all the supplemented groups but not in the control group. These findings suggest an immunological enhancement, particularly of zinc being the most effective modifier; copper would have been considered most efficacious but for the reduction effect on red blood cell volume.

Keywords: Immune indices, Salmonella entrica, Cations, Rabbits.