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Broiler chicken and rabbit experiments were carried out to study the effects of nickel (Ni) supplementation on growth performance and Ni metabolism. ROSS cockerels and New Zealand White female rabbits were fed a diet containing Ni in concentrations of 0, 50 and 500 mg/kg in dry matter (DM). Dietary supplementation of 50 mg Ni/kg slightly improved the body weight gain (BWG) and had a beneficial effect on the feed conversion efficiency (FCE) in broiler chickens. However, Ni added at a level of 500 mg/kg significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the BWG by 10% and resulted in significantly (P < 0.05) worse (2.3 ± 0.2 kg/kg) FCE. The relative weight of the liver in cockerels was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased by Ni as compared to the control group (1.7 and 2.1% vs. 2.6%). The activity of AST and CHE enzymes was increased insignificantly by dietary supplementation of 500 mg Ni/kg, indicating damage of the liver parenchyma. The results of serum biochemistry were confirmed by a mild or moderate form of pathological focal fatty infiltration of the liver in broilers. Supplemental Ni of 50 mg/kg concentration resulted in non-significantly increased BWG in rabbits. Ni added to the diet at a level of 500 mg/kg reduced the digestibility of crude protein by 3-4% and that of crude fibre by 20-25% in rabbits. Approx. 98% of the ingested Ni was lost from the body via the faeces, 0.5-1.5% via the urine and approx. 1% was incorporated into the organs of rabbits. As a result of dietary supplementation of 50 and 500 mg Ni/kg, Ni accumulated in the kidneys (4.9 ± 0.5 and 17.1 ± 3.1 vs. 1.9 ± 0.3 mg/kg DM), ribs (10.3 ± 0.4 and 10.4 ± 0.6 vs. 9.1 ± 0.6 mg/kg DM), heart (1.4 ± 0.2 and 2.5 ± 0.4 vs. 1.0 ± 0.1 mg/kg DM) and liver (1.3 ± 0.1 and 2.2 ± 0.2 vs. 0.9 ± 0.05 mg/kg DM), as compared to the control animals. It can be stated that supplementation of the diet with 50 mg Ni/kg had slight but non-significant beneficial effects on the growth performance of broiler chickens and rabbits.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: V. Palya, M. Nagy, R. Glávits, Éva Ivanics, D. Szalay, Á. Dán, T. Süveges, B. Markos, and B. Harrach

Epidemiological, pathological, serological and virological investigations are reported on turkey haemorrhagic enteritis virus (THEV) infection in Hungarian turkey flocks. The pathogenesis of infection in experimentally infected turkeys and chickens, as well as the usefulness of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)/sequencing method for epidemiological investigation and for the differentiation of vaccine and field strains of THEV was also studied. Since the first recognition of the disease in Hungary in the late 1970s, until recently the disease has been diagnosed sporadically in its mild form. In the last few years (2000–2005), however, the number of outbreaks and the severity of the disease increased (9–23 affected flocks/year). Most of the outbreaks occurred at the age of 6 to 8 weeks and was complicated with Escherichia coli infection. The antibody levels to THEV in turkey flocks gradually declined till 5–7 weeks of age, and then they increased sharply due to natural infection with THEV. The immune response to vaccination (at 5 weeks of age) showed no significant antibody level increase one week postvaccination, but four weeks later the antibody level reached high values and then remained at this high level. The agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test to detect turkey adenovirus A (TAdV-A) antigen and PCR methods for THEV-specific DNA gave similarly positive results if spleens with pathognomonic lesions were tested; however, PCR proved to be more sensitive in cases with less characteristic pathological lesions. Nucleotide sequence alignment of PCR products amplified from Hungarian field strains and the Domermuth vaccine strain and that of the published THEV hexon sequences in GenBank database revealed slight differences between the sequences.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: Éva Ivanics, M. Dobos-Kovács, R. Glávits, Éva Kaszanyitzky, Cs. Nemes, L. Szeredi, Anikó Beregszászi, and L. Dencső

Ten one-day-old goslings were inoculated orally with a Brachyspira alvinipulli strain isolated from the large intestine of geese that had died of intestinal spirochaetosis (Group A), 10 day-old goslings were inoculated orally with a B. hyodysenteriae strain (Group B), and a third group of 10 goslings (Group C) served as uninfected control. The goslings were observed daily for clinical signs. They were sacrificed on days 7, 14, 21 and 35 days postinfection (PI), and necropsied. Segments of the large intestine were subjected to histopathological, immunohistochemical, electron microscopic (TEM, SEM) and microbiological examinations. Mortality did not occur during the experimental period. However, in both groups the caecum of the goslings killed by bleeding was slightly dilated, in its lumen there was a watery, yellowish and frothy content, and the mucous membrane was slightly swollen. By histopathological, immunohistochemical and electron microscopic examination, B. alvinipulli and B. hyodysenteriae could be detected in the caecum or colon, in the lumen of the glands and sometimes among the glandular epithelial cells in goslings of the respective groups, and could be reisolated from these organs by culturing. A mild inflammation of the intestinal mucosa was also noted. In transverse section of the brachyspirae, numerous (16–22) periplasmic flagella could be detected inside the outer sheath, also depending on the plane of section.

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Acta Veterinaria Hungarica
Authors: A. Bersényi, S. Fekete, I. Hullár, I. Kádár, M. Szilágyi, R. Glávits, Margit Kulcsár, M. Mézes, and L. Zöldág

Carrots were grown on soils polluted by heavy metal salts. Each particular microelement reached a high concentration [molybdenum (Mo) 39.00, cadmium (Cd) 2.30, lead (Pb) 4.01, mercury (Hg) 30.00, and selenium (Se) 36.20 mg/kg dry matter] in the carrot. In a metabolic balance trial conducted with 15 male and 15 female New Zealand White rabbits, the control animals (n = 5) were fed ad libitum with concentrate as basal diet, while the other rabbits received the basal diet and carrots containing the particular microelement. Blood samples were taken to determine the activity of serum enzymes. To investigate the metabolism of Mo, Cd, Pb, Hg and Se, samples were taken from the heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, spleen, ovaries/testicles, entire digestive tract, adipose tissue, femur, hair, faeces and urine. Carrot had significantly higher digestibility for all nutrients than the rabbit concentrate. Carrot samples of high Pb content had the lowest digestibility of crude protein. The microelements differed in their rate of accumulation in the organs examined: Mo and Cd accumulated in the kidneys, Pb in the kidneys, liver, bones and lungs, Hg in the kidneys and liver, while Se in the liver, kidneys and heart. The proportions of microelements eliminated from the body either via the faeces and urine (Mo 80.18% and Se 47.41%) or via the faeces (Cd 37.86%, Pb 66.39%, Hg 64.65%) were determined. Pathohistological examination revealed that the rate of spermatogenesis was reduced in the Mo, Cd, Pb and Hg groups compared to the control. Lead, Cd and Hg intake resulted in a considerable decrease in gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and in an increase of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity because of damages to the kidneys and bones. All experimental treatments decreased the activity of cholinesterase (CHE) because of lesions in the liver.

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