Experimental parasitology

Effects of dietary selenium supplementation on parasitemia, anemia and serum proteins of Trypanosoma brucei brucei infected rats.

PMID 23916765


Trypanosomosis has been associated with immunosuppression, anemia and oxidative damage while selenium possesses both immunostimulatory and antioxidative effects. This study was designed to assess the effect of dietary selenium supplementation on parasitemia, anemia, survival pattern and serum protein profiles of trypanosome-infected rats. Twenty five rats, divided into five groups (A-E) of 5 each, were treated as follows: 4, 8 and 16 ppm (ppm) of selenium in their feed, respectively throughout the experimental period and were infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei on day 14 post supplementation, infected not supplemented and the negative control. Supplementation at 4 and 8 ppm increased the packed cell volume (PCV) and hemoglobin (Hb) concentration on day 7 of supplementation (PS) when compared with the unsupplemented groups. Following infection on day 14 PS, the PCV, Hb of 16 ppm and infected not supplemented groups were significantly (P < 0.05) lower than other groups on days 28 and 35 PS. Supplementation did not lead to significant (P > 0.05) changes on the total protein, albumin and globulin by day 14 PS. Infection, however, caused significant (P > 0.05) decrease in the total protein and albumin from day 28. The supplementation did not significantly (P > 0.05) increase the pre-patent period but caused a significant reduction in the parasitemia levels and increased survival intervals. Dietary selenium supplementation, from the results, may show promise in the management of African trypanosomosis as the supplementation was able to: reduce anemia and parasitemia and increase survival intervals of trypanosome infected rats.