Effect of Helminthiasis on Zinc Metabolism

  • Musalia, L.M. (Department of Animal Science, Egerton University) ;
  • Aggett, P. (Rowett Research Institute)
  • Received : 2000.02.23
  • Accepted : 2000.07.10
  • Published : 2001.02.01


The effect of helminthiasis on zinc metabolism was monitored using endogenous $^{65}Zn$ after intraperitoneal injection of 1 g of $^{65}Zn$ as zinc chloride. In the first experiment zinc turnover was investigated in 18 male weanling rats, which were randomly divided into 3 groups. One group was infected with 73 third stage larvae of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis per gram body weight ; the other groups were the pair-fed and ad lib-fed controls. The route of loss of zinc was investigated in the second experiment with the same design using 18 animals with a lower dose of infection (33 larvae per gram body weight). The biological half life of endogenous $^{65}Zn$ was lower (p<0.05) in the infected group as compared to the controls. In the later phase of infection (9th to 16th day) there was reduced retention of $^{65}Zn$ and increased loss (p<0.05) of $^{65}Zn$ from the body though urine and faeces. It was concluded that infection of N. brasiliensis was accompanied by increased loss of endogenous Zn through faeces and urine.