Author(s): Saad AM, Hussein MF, Bushara HO, Dargie JD, Taylor MG
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Abstract Red cell kinetics and albumin metabolism were studied in calves infected with either 100 or 200 Schistosoma bovis cercariae per kg body weight, by the use of 59Fe-labelled transferrin, 51Cr-labelled erythrocytes and 125I-labelled albumin; a third group of worm-free animals acted as controls. The anaemia which developed in the infected calves was shown to be due basically to an accelerated rate of red cell loss from the circulation, and became evident around the seventh week of infection, increased in severity during the following two months, and subsequently subsided. In view of its close similarity to the pattern of faecal egg excretion, it was concluded that haemorrhage into the intestine caused by the exit of eggs was the principal aetiological factor: haemolysis was excluded by the absence of both splenomegaly and hyperferraemia . Erythropoiesis was also accelerated in infected animals, but could not keep pace with the rate of red cell breakdown to which the animals were concurrently subjected. Haemodilution was involved, but not to a significant extent. The hypoalbuminaemia associated with infection was caused by an increased rate of albumin catabolism, and a plasma volume expansion, and was accompanied by marked depletion of all albumin pools, but particularly the extravascular pool. The pattern of albumin catabolism closely followed that of red cell loss, suggesting that passage of plasma as whole blood into the intestine was the basic cause of hypoalbuminaemia. Red cell losses and albumin hypercatabolism were more severe in the more heavily infected group, and although both subsided as egg counts fell, they remained evident even 1 year after infection. This may partly explain the failure of infected animals to regain the weight lost during earlier stages of disease.
This article was published in J Comp Pathol
and referenced in Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal