Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 307-311

Concentration of selected transition metals in layer hens non-infested and infested with Dermanyssus gallinae

Anna Spodniewska1, Dariusz Barski1, Rajmund Sokół2

1University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Olsztyn, Poland
2University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Parasitology and Invasive Diseases, Olsztyn, Poland

The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of selected transition metals, i.e. iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in the livers of laying hens free from and infested with the red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) and to explain the effects of the invasion of this parasite on the content of those elements. The study was carried out on 24 Hy-Line Brown hens bred in battery cages. The birds were divided into two groups, free from and infested with D. gallinae. Concentration of analysed metals was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Based on this experiment, it was proved that a long-term (52 weeks) exposure of hens to D. gallinae resulted in a significant (P < 0.05) decrease of Fe, Cu and Zn in the liver. The mean content of analysed metals in the group infested with the parasite amounted to 31.42 mg Fe/kg, 2.71 mg Cu/kg and 22.64 mg/kg, whereas in the non-infested group it was 38.51 mg Fe/kg, 3.12 mg Cu/kg and 26.53 mg Zn/kg. No significant (P < 0.05) alterations in haematological indicators were found between the examined groups of birds. The results may suggest that 3 weeks of recovery in hens are sufficient to bring about a considerable increase in concentration of analysed transition metals in the liver.


copper, zinc, Iron, birds, red mite.


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