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Effects of Crude Oil Exposure on Rats Experimentally Infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei

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Effects of Crude Oil Exposure on Rats Experimentally Infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei.

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the effect of exposure to crude oil on rats experimentally infected with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Thirty (30) adult male albino rats weighing 165 ± 15.0g were used for the study. They were kept in metal cages in a fly-proof house and fed with proprietary rodent diet and given water ad libitum.

The rats were divided into five groups (A- E) of six rats each. Groups A and B represented the uninfected-unexposed and infected- unexposed controls respectively, whereas groups C, D and E were exposed orally to 1, 0.2 and 0.4 ml of crude oil respectively every alternate day for three weeks.

All rats were inoculated intraperitoneally (ip) with 0.3 ml suspension of a 10% washed sheep red blood cell (SRBC) and given a booster dose of SRBC seven days later. Groups B – E were later infected ip with Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Rectal temperature, packed cell volume (PCV), total and differential white blood cell (WBC) counts were monitored weekly.

Parasitaemia was assayed daily while direct haemagglutination was evaluated weekly from the sixth week. In addition the serum activities of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) as well as the serum levels of urea and creatinine were estimated.

Data generated was analysed by analysis of variance (ANOVA) using SPSS version 15 for Windows. Variant means were separated by Duncan’s multiple range test. The results of the study showed an average pre-patent period of 5 days for all T. brucei brucei infected rats, with peak parasitaemia observed for groups B, C and E on day 10 post infection and a second wave from day 12 post infection until day 14 after which all the rats were humanely sacrificed.

INTRODUCTION

It is globally known that oil spills constitute a very important environmental pollutant with significant threat to both terrestrial and marine life (Leighton, 1991). Crude oil is found in the Niger Delta areas of Nigeria, where the devastating consequences of spillage and gas flaring on the environment and on the survival and livelihood of the people have engineered and powered the Niger Delta militancy.

The effects of these on the Nigerian economy are quite enormous. However, contamination with crude oil is not limited to the Niger Delta and marine environments, as oil spillage at drilling sites located on agricultural and grazing lands occur and pose serious risks to the public, terrestrial wildlife and livestock raised on these lands (Igwebuike et al., 2007).

As a result of crude oil pollution, the Niger Delta region has suffered severe problems including water contamination, loss of many valuable animals, plants and crops (Anonymous, 1996) as well as lands for agricultural purposes. Ironically in some parts of southern Nigeria, crude oil is used traditionally by some local populations for the treatment of various ailments such as gastrointestinal disorders, burns, foot rot and leg ulcers, poisoning and witchcraft (Orisakwe et al., 2000).

The use of crude oil for the treatment of these conditions has however, not been subjected to scientific investigation for substantiation just as no work has been carried out to determine the safety or otherwise of its use. Although, Orisakwe et al. (2000) tried to investigate the pharmacologic basis for some of these folkloric uses, the findings were not conclusive.

REFERENCES

Abatan, M.O. (1991). Combination therapy of trypanosomiasis using diminazene and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Journal of Chemotherapy. 3, 232-235.

Abenga, J.N. Enwezor, F.N.C., Lawani, F.A.G., Ezebuiro, C., Sule, J., David, K.M. (2002). Prevalence of trypanosomosis in trade cattle at slaughter in Kaduna, Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Parasitology. 23, 103-110.

Agu, W.E. (1984). Incidence of bovine trypanosomiasis in six villages in Kaduna State, Nigeria. Proceedings of the national conference on diseases of ruminants, vom.

Akpa, P.O., Ezeokonkwo, R.C., Eze, C.A., Anene, B.M. (2008). Comparative efficacy assessment of Pentamidine isethionate and diminazene aceturate in the chemotherapy of Trypanosoma brucei brucei infection in dogs. Veterinary Parasitology. 151, 139-149.

Alkindi, A.Y.A., Brown, J.A., Waring, C.P. and Collins, J.E. (1996). Endocrine, Osmoregulatory, respiratory and haematological parameters in flounders exposed to the water solube fraction of crude oil. Journal of Fish Biology. 49, 1291-1305.

Anene, B.M., Chime, A.B., Anika, S.M. (1991). The productive performance of imported freisian cattle under heavy trypanosome challenge in a rain forest zone of Nigeria. British Veterinary Journal. 147, 275.

CSN Team.

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