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Immune Response, Anaemia and Oxidative Stress in Trypanosoma brucei brucei Infected Rats Fed Vitamin E Supplemented Diet

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Background: Tsetse-transmitted trypanosomosis remains a constant drain on the financial resources of African livestock keepers, on the productivity of their livestock and their health. Control involves tackling the parasite by treating livestock with trypanocides, or controlling the vector through insecticide-treated traps or cattle, aerial spraying, ground spraying, the sterile insect technique (SIT) or combinations of these. Recently, the use of antioxidants, immunostimulants or immunomodulatory agents such as vitamins and micronutrients in the management of African trypanosomosis have shown some advantage. Vitamin E is able to optimize and enhance the immune response as well as function as an antioxidant. In view of this, there is the need to study the effect of vitamin E supplementation on anaemia, oxidative stress and immune response of Trypanosoma brucei brucei infected rats.

Methods: Thirty (30) adult albino rats divided into 5 groups (A - E) of 6 rats each were used for this study. Groups A, B and C were fed with 50, 100, 200 parts per million (ppm) vitamin E in their feed respectively from day 21 pre-infection till the experiment was terminated. Also, groups A, B, C and D rats were each infected with 1.0 × 106 trypanosomes intraperitoneally. Rats in group E served as the uninfected control. The packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, parasitaemia, antibody response to sheep red blood cells (SRBC), lipid peroxidation index and antioxidant enzymes activities were used to assess the supplementation.

Results: The supplementation was able to increase the PCV and Hb significantly (P<0.05) by day 21 when compared with not supplemented groups. Following infection on day 21 OTS, there was decrease in PCV with the infected not supplemented group being significantly lower than other groups on day 35 OTS. The supplementation led to significant (P<0.05) increase in antibody response to SRBC and leucocyte count of the supplemented group at pre-infection when compared with the infected not supplemented and not infected not supplemented groups. The infection however led to further increase in the antibody titre and leucocyte count on day 28 OTS followed by decrease from day 35 OTS. The serum MDA concentration of the supplemented groups decreased significantly on day 21 OTS but was reversed by infection on day 42 OTS. The antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase and catalase) activities increased significantly (P<0.05) in the supplemented groups on day 21 OTS but there was a significant (P<0.05) decrease in these enzymes activities following infection.

Conclusion: In conclusion, supplementation with vitamin E showed some beneficial effects in the management of trypanosomosis in rats.
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Keywords: Antibody; haemoglobin; leucocyte; malondialdehyde; rats; trypanosomes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

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  • Anti-Infective Agents publishes original research, expert reviews, drug clinical trial studies and guest edited issues on all the latest and outstanding developments on the medicinal chemistry, biology, pharmacology and use of anti-infective and anti-parasitic agents. The scope of the journal covers all pre-clinical and clinical research on antimicrobials, antibacterials, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic agents. Anti-Infective Agents is an essential journal for all infectious disease researchers in industry, academia and the health services.
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