Experimental Chronic Phenylmercury Chloride Intoxication in Pigs

Veterinarni Medicina 37, 1992, 379-391

Four gilts, sisters from one litter, aged 70 days and weighing 20-24 kg, were used for trial. Two experimental gilts [P] were administered an experimental feed mixture containing phenylmercury chloride [40 mg/kg]. Two control gilts [K] were fed the same mixture but without phenylmercury chloride. P gilts began to lag behind in their growth from day 60 of the experiment, they manifested nonphysiological postures [dog's sitting posture], paresis of hind limbs and uncoordinated movements. P gilts had cloudy, orange-brown urine from day 70 and from day 75 they began to suffer from diarrhoea. Mercury [Hg] contents in urine and blood serum of P gilts were irregularly variable: urine 0.58-2.15 mg/l, blood serum 0.02-0.37 mg/l. Hg content in excrements of P gilts fluctuated from 23 to 26 mg/kg. Vitamin A concentrations in blood serum and liver decreased in P gilts. Phenylmercury chloride feeding caused mutagenic changes in peripheral lymphocytes of P gilts [an increase in the number of aberrant cells from 2-3 % to 8-9 %] and reduced IgA, IgM and IgG immunoglobulin levels in blood serum. Pathological lesions were observed in the colon, kidneys and liver. None of the above-mentioned changes were observed in K gilts. Increased resistance to the negative effects of Hg was found in one experimental gilt. In comparison with K gilts, Hg concentrations in P gilts after 130 days of the experiment increased as follows: 427 times in kidneys, 333 times in liver, 106 times in guts, 71 times in pancreas, 53 times in ovaries, 50 times in muscles, 47 times in bristles and 16 times in the brain. Bristles, excrements, urine and blood can be used for intravital diagnostics of mercury poisoning

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