Assessment of vitamin E levels, selenium levels and presence of viral pathogens as the etiology of mulberry heart disease

28-10-2010 | | |

Mulberry heart disease (MHD) in swine usually manifests as sudden death in young, fast-growing, apparently healthy pigs. The hallmark lesions are acute hemorrhagic myocarditis and myocardial necrosis resulting in heart failure. It has long been suspected that MHD is linked to deficient levels of vitamin E and/or selenium (3,4,5,6).

However, the exact relationship is still unclear and vitamin E and selenium deficiency are not observed in all cases of MHD (3). Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that infectious disease may be associated with similar heart lesions in pigs (1,2). We investigated the relationship between MHD and vitamin E, selenium, and 13 other mineral levels in heart and liver tissues. Additionally, several PCR assays were conducted on heart tissues to explore a possible relationship between viral pathogens and MHD.

Paul Thomas1 Giacomo Bortoletto1 Peter Kirkland2 Wonil Kim1 Alan Loynachan1 Steve Ensley1 Tanja Opriessnig1
1. Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; 2. Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute, Camden, NSW, Australia

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