Livestock Research for Rural Development 24 (4) 2012 Guide for preparation of papers LRRD Newsletter

Citation of this paper

Critical macro and micro minerals concentration in the blood serum of camel (Camelus dromedarius) in Jijiga district, Eastern Ethiopia

Temesgen Desalegn*, Mohammed Y K** and Beneberu Shimelis***

* Madawalabu University, School of Agriculture, Department of Animal and Range Sciences P.O.Box 247, Bale-Robe, Ethiopia
teme_desalegn1980@yahoo.com
** Haramaya University, School of Animal and Range Sciences, P.O.Box, 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
mkurtu2002@yahoo.com
*** Haramaya University, School of Natural Sciences, P.O.Box, 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
beneberu.shimelis@gmail.com

Abstract

For the study, a total of 20 male camels aging from 5 to 9 years were used for blood sample collection. The blood samples were collected using 10ml plain vacutainer tubes by puncturing of the jugular vein of each camel in two different seasons. T-test was employed to see the effect of seasons on the minerals concentration in the serum.  

The mean concentration (mEq/L) of macro minerals in the  wet and in the dry season were: Ca (5.91, 4.79); Mg (2.29, 1.14); Na (192, 170) and  K (4.79, 5.6) ) and the mean concentration (g/dl) of micro minerals in the wet and in the dry season were: Fe (76, 80); Zn (113, 92.8); Cu (75,  61.6) and Mn (30, 20) ), respectively. Effect of season was significant for Mg (P<0.001) and Na (P<0.05) with high concentration in the wet season and K (P<0.05) in the dry season. In this study, the mean concentration of P in the wet and in the dry season (mg/dl) (1.38, 1.08) was very low compared to values reported in other studies.  This lower concentration of P in the serum of camels could be attributed to the deficiency of P in the forages and indigenous supplements of mineral salts in the study district. So there is a need for P supplementation to the camels in the study district. 

Key words: nutrition, ruminants, seasons


Introduction

The body of animals contains about five percent of minerals and this figure is subject to vary with age, species, maturity and degree of fatness. While minerals account for only a very small portion of the body, the existence of adequate essential minerals in the body tissues is an indispensable prerequisite for normal health, growth and reproduction as essential minerals are basic constituents of all body cells and fluids circulating in the body (Halnan et al 1966). 

The physiological role of these minerals in animal body is well documented (Underwood and Suttle 1999). According to Underwood and Suttle ( 1999), the macro elements are utilized either structurally (Ca, P, S) or in the maintenance of acid-base balance (Na, K, Cl) as well as functioning in the energy, nerve impulse transmission and enzyme activation (P, Ca, Mg, K, Cl). The micro mineral elements Cu,  Zn, Mo, Mn and Se mainly contribute to the structure and function of enzyme systems, while Fe is an integral component of heamoglobin and related compounds, I of the iodthyronines and Co of the cynocobalamin. 

Information on the concentration of critical minerals in the serum is crucial pre-requisite for improvement of the mineral deficiencies or toxicities of animal diets for the improved performance. Although camel is an important domestic animal species in countries like Ethiopia that possesses a large pastoralists and agropastoralist population, little has been done on the mineral status of camel. Therefore, this study was designed to assess some critical mineral elements concentration in the serum of camel. 


Materials and methods

The study was conducted in the Somali National Regional State in Jijiga district. Geographically, Jijiga district lies at 8o 44’N longitude and 40o 22’E latitude (NAE 1984). The average elevation of the district is 1803 meters above sea level (Hailu 2008). Temperature of the district is generally high all the year round where the mean minimum and maximum temperatures are around 20oC and 35oC, respectively. The mean annual rain fall is 660 mm and bimodal. The rainfall condition in the district is generally low, unreliable and with uneven distribution.

 

Serum sample collection and analysis 

A total of 20 male camels aging from 5 to 9 years were used for blood sample collection. Prior to sample collection, the herdsmen willingness was asked in order to take blood samples from their animals. Then blood samples were collected using 10ml plain vacutainer tubes by puncturing of the jugular vein of each camel in two different seasons. The first round samples were collected in January to mid-February (dry season) and the second round samples were collected in July to mid-September (wet season) for laboratory analysis. The collected blood samples were left for 5 hours to clot and centrifuged to separate serum. Then separated serum was kept in cold storage (at -20oC) until analysis.  

The separated serum was de-protienized using 10% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and 0.1% of Lanthanum solution for determination of both critical macro and micro minerals spectrophotometrically as described by Fick et al (1979). T-test was employed to evaluate the effect of seasons on the minerals concentration. 


Results and discussion

Macro elements in blood serum 

Calcium level in serum ranged from 3.45 to 6.52 mEq/L with a mean of 4.790.31 mEq/L in the dry season and from 3.07 to 8.89 mEq/L with a mean of 5.910.31 in the wet season (Table 1).  Al-Amrousi and Wasfi (1984) reported in both sexes and different ages 5.84 mEq/L (11.68mg/dl) of Ca.  Sarwar et al (2004) reported the mean Ca concentration of 5.640.01mEq/L in 56 (28 males and 28 females) clinically healthy camels. Barakat and Fattah (1970) found a mean value of 6.20.04mEq/L (12.40.09 mg/dl) in 200 adult Egyptian camels of both sexes with insignificant difference between male and female camels. The same researchers (Barakat and Fattah 1971) also reported 6.120.22 mEq/L (12.20.44 mg/dl) and 6.550.11 mEq/L (13.10.22 mg/dl) in 100 male and female camels, respectively with insignificant difference between ages, sexes and lactation and/or pregnancy states in females. A lower value of Ca level in serum was also reported by Mohammed et al (2007), where they found 2.390.05mmol/L (2.390.05 mEq/L) in Shika-Zaria, Nigerian camels with insignificant difference between either sexes or seasons. The level of Ca in current findings was in between those reports. Serum Ca concentration was insignificantly higher (P>0.05) in the wet season (Table 1). 

Concentration of Mg in serum ranged from 0.45 to 2.74 mEq/L with a mean of 1.140.11 mEq/L in the dry season and from 1.51 to 3.3 mEq/L with the mean of 2.290.11 in the wet season (Table 1).  Magnesium in the serum of healthy camels was measured by Wahbi et al (1980), who found 2.06 mEq/L (2.5 mg/100 ml) in the blood of nomadic camels in the Sudan. In a similar study, Osman and Al-Busadah (2003) reported 2.160.09 mEq/L in serum of She-camel. The finding of the current result is comparable with those reports, however lower value was obtained in the dry season (Table 1).  Comparing seasons, significantly higher (P<0.001) level was observed in the wet season.

 

Table 1: Mean camels’ serum macro minerals (mEq/L) and micro-minerals (g/dl) concentration as related to seasons in Jijiga district

Minerals

Wet

Dry

SEM

Prob.

Calcium

5.91

4.79

0.31

0.108

Magnesium

2.29a

1.14b

0.11

<.0001

Potassium

4.79b

5.6a

0.23

0.023

Sodium

192a

170b

6.32

0.016

Phosphorus(mg/dl)

1.38

1.08

0.15

0.232

Iron

76

80

8.98

0.763

Manganese

30

20

6.15

0.26

Zinc

113

92.8

10.4

0.382

Copper

75

61

4.68

0.19

a, b= Means within a row not bearing a common superscript differ significantly;  SEM=Standard error mean; mEq/L= miliequvalent per liter; g/dl= microgram per deciliter.

Concentration of Na in the serum ranged from 85.4 to 204 mEq/L with a mean of 1706.32 mEq/L in the dry season and from 142 to 243 mEq/L with a mean of 1926.32 in the wet season (Table 1). A number of researchers have reported normal serum levels for sodium in camels. The camel sera show a wide range of normal levels of sodium and chloride and these are generally higher than those reported for other ruminants (Abdalla et al 1988). 147 mEq/L Na in camel sera were reported by Bhattacharjee and Banerjee (1962), Sharma et al (1983) in India. Wahbi et al (1980) in Sudan reported 151 mEq/L Na in the serum of camels; 164 mEq/L and 168mEq/L Na were found in female and male camels in Saudi Arabia (Hussein et al 1982); 154 mEq/L serum Na concentration was reported by Abdalla et al (1988) in United Arab Emirates; 172 and 184 mEq/L in male and female camels, respectively (Sarwar et al 2004).  The results of the current study are comparable to the previous reports, however slightly higher value was observed in the wet season. This higher value could be due to the pastoralists’ practice of supplementing mineral soil and table salt, particularly in the wet season (Temesgen 2010). Sodium concentration was found to be significantly higher (P<0.05) in the wet season than in the dry season (Table 1). 

Potassium level in serum ranged from 3.89 to 7.77 mEq/L with a mean of 4.790.23mEq/L in the wet season and from 3.89 to 7.13 mEq/L with a mean of 5.60.23 in the dry season (Table 1). The mean level of K in camels’ serum was reported by many researchers from different countries. Barakat and Fattah (1970) reported 4.70.01mEq/L in adult Egyptian camels of both sexes.  Al-Amrousi and Wasfi (1984) 4.390.13 mEq/L K in the serum of 40 Saudi Arabian camels of either sex and varying ages; Osman and Al-Busadah (2003) reported 40.2 mEq/L K in she-camels of Saudi Arabia; Sarwar et al (2004) reported 5.410.01mEq/L in 56 (28 males and 28 females) camels of Bhakkar, Pakistan; 5.030.42mEq/L in eleven adult camel in Shika-Zaria, Nigeria reported by Mohammed et al (2007).  The result of the current finding is in line with those of previous studies.  The effect of seasons was found to be significant (P<0.05) with higher level of serum K concentration in the dry season.  However, in a similar study, Mohammed et al (2007) reported insignificantly higher level of K in serum in the dry season.   

Phosphorus level in serum ranged from 0.22 to 3.8 mg/dl with a mean of 1.380.15 mg/dl in the wet season and from 0.22 to 3.43 mg/dl with a mean of 1.080.15 in the dry season (Table 1).  The mean concentration of P in this study is lower than 3.80.5mg/dl in she-camels reported by Osman and Al-Busadah (2003); 6.120.47mg/dl in adult camels (Barri et al 2005); 8.41.7mg/dl in the serum of camels (Al-Ali et al 1988). The low values observed both in the wet and dry seasons in the current study could be attributed to P deficiencies in the forages and in indigenous mineral supplements in the study areas (Temesgen 2010). Thus, deficiency of P in forages and indigenous mineral supplements (Temesgen 2010) and low level in the serum of camels could be the good indicator of deficiency of P in the study area. In this study, numerically higher concentration of serum P was observed in the wet season.  In similar study, Barakat and Abdel-Fattah (1971) observed significant seasonal difference in serum P concentration, however, sex had no significant effect.

 

Trace elements in blood serum 

Iron levels in camels serum ranged (g/dl) from 40 to 180 with a mean of 768.98 in the wet season and from 40 to 120 with a mean of 808.98 in the dry season (Table 1). The mean serum Fe concentration observed in both the wet and the dry seasons are within the ranges reported in camels’ serum by El Thomy et al (1986) 68 g/dl; 80.216 g/dl by Osman and Al-Busadah (2003); and 190 g/dl by Faye et al (2008). Concerning the season, numerically higher concentration of serum Fe was observed in dry season.  

Zinc concentration in camels’ serum ranged (g/dl) from 84.6 to 385 with mean of 11310.4 in the wet season and from 66.7 to 167 with a mean of 92.810.4 in the dry season (Table 1). The mean concentration of serum Zn in both seasons in the current study is in between the reports of Osman and Al-Busadah (2003) which was 103.412.6 g/dl; Al-Busadah (2007) 41.10.61 g/dl and 20 g/dl by Faye et al (2008). This large variation in the values could be attributed to differences in environment, zinc concentration of the soil and forages, husbandry or difference in the methods of assay (Beaunoyer 1992, Osman and Al-Busadah 2003). In this study the effect of season was not significant (P>0.05) on Zn concentration in blood serum, however higher concentration of Zn was observed in wet season compared to dry season.  

Manganase level in the camels’ serum ranged (g/dl) from 20 to 50 with a mean of 306.15 in the wet season and from 10 to 50 with a mean of 206.15 in the dry season (Table 1). There are great variations in the reports of Mn concentration in the serum of camels. Osman and Al-Busadah (2003) reported the mean concentration of 304.5 g/dl in she-camels; 33.6 g/dl in non pregnant camels (El-Tohamy et al 1986). However, two extreme values are reported by different researchers in the serum of camels.  El-Kasmi (1989) (as cited by Osman and Al-Busadah  2003) reported a mean value of 174 g/dl with no age or sex differences; Faye et al (2008) reported a mean value of 0.16 g/dl in the serum of camels. This large variation in the values could be attributed to differences in environment, Mn concentration of the soils and forages, husbandry or difference in the methods of assay (Beaunoyer 1992, Osman and Al-Busadah  2003). The mean concentration of Mn in the current study in both seasons is in between the previous researchers’ values. In this study insignificantly higher (P>0.05) concentration of Mn was observed in wet season compared to dry season. 

Copper concentration in the camels’ serum ranged (g/dl) from 25.6 to 111 with a mean of 754.68 in the wet season and from 25.6 to 105 with a mean of 61.63.28g/dl in the dry season (Table 1). Mean concentration of Cu in serum of camels in both wet and dry seasons in this study is in between the reports of previous studies. Faye et al (2008) reported 60.1 g/dl; Al-Busadah (2007) reported 631.1g/dl; Osman and Al-Busadah (2003) reported 11315.1g/dl and the same researchers also reported that Cu in most of the observed camels’ serum fluctuated between 70-120g/dl. In this research effect of season was not found significant (P>0.05) on Cu concentration in serum, however, numerically higher value was observed in wet season. 


Conclusions


Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge Haramaya University for its support during data collection and for the provision of facilities; they also acknowledge the Agricultural Research and Training Section of the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization for funding this study; and all those who have contributed to the study.


References

Abdalla O M, Wasfi I A and Gadir F A 1988 The Arabian Race Camel Normal Parameters. Haemogram, Enzymes and Minerals. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology.90A:237-239. 

Al-Ali A K, Husayni H A and D M Power 1988 A Comparative Biochemical Analysis of the Blood of the Camel (Camelus dromedarius). p. 23. 

Al-Amrousi A, Hafiz M and Wasfi I A 1984 Some Biochemical Parameters of Mature Camels in Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia. Assuit veterinary Medicine Journal.13:121-124. 

Al-Busadah K A 2007 Some Biochemical and Haematological Indices in Different Breeds of Camels in Saudi Arabia. Scientific Journal of King Faisal University. Basic and Applied Sciences. 8(1):29-42. 

Barakat M Z and Fattah M A 1970 Biochemical Analysis of Normal Camel Blood. Zentble Veterinary Medicine. 17:550-557. 

Barakat M Z and Fattah M A 1971 Seasonal and Sexual Variations of Certain Constituents of Normal Camel Blood. Zentble Veterinary Medicine.18:174-178. 

Barri M E S, Al-Busadah K A and Homeida A M  2005 Comparative Calcium and Magnesium Status in Adult and Young Camel (Camelus dromedaries). Scientific Journal of King Faisal University (Basic and Applied Sciences).6 (21426H):129. 

Beaunoyer D E 1992 Changes in Serum Enzyme Activities after Maximal Exercise in Camels. In: Proceedings of First International Camel Conferences, 2-6 Feb., Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  p.331-333. 

Bhattacharjee R C and Banerjee S 1962 Biochemical Studies on the Indian Camel (Camelus dromedarius). 2. Inorganic Constituents of Serum. Journal of Science and Industries Research. 21C:106-107. 

El Kasmi 1989 Contribution a l etude des proteins seniques et de certains minerauxcher le dromedaries influence de lage et du sexe. Memoire de ler Cycle University. Hassan II, Rabat. p.46. 

El Thomy M M, Salamaand A and Youssef  A E M 1986 Blood Constituents in Relation to the Reproductive State in She-Camel (Camelus dromedarius). Beitrage for Tropical Landwitschaftund Veterinary Medicine. 24:425-430. 

Faye B, Seboussi R and Askar M 2008 Trace Elements and Heavy Metals Status in Arabian Camel. Springer Netherlands. 2:97-106. 

Fick K R, McDowell L R, Miles P H ,Wilkinson N J, Funk J D and Conrad J H 1979 Methods of Mineral Analysis for Plant and Animal Tissues. University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. 

Hailu E 2008 Baseline Survey of 55 Woredas of Pastoral Community Development Project. Phase II, part I, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Halnan E T, Garner F H and Eden A 1966 The principles and practice of feeding farm animals (4th ed). The estate Gazette limited. London. p.151. 

Hussein M F, AlSubayei A A and Hassan H A 1982 A Study of Some Aspects of Blood Chemistry in Saudi Arabian Camels (Camelus dromedaries). Sudan Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. 23:68-72. 

Mohammed A K, Sackey A K B,  Tekdek  L B and Gefu J O  2007 Serum Biochemical Values of Healthy Adult One-Humped Camel (Camelus dromedarius) introduced into a Sub-Humid Climate in Shika-Zaria, Nigeria. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances. 6(5):597-600. 

NAE (National Atlas of Ethiopia) 1984 Ethiopian mapping agency. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

Osman T E A and Al-Busadah K A  2003 Normal Concentration of Twenty Serum Biochemical Parameters of She-Camels, Cows and Ewes in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. 6(14):1253-1256. 

Sarwar A, Majeed M A,  Hur G and Khan L R  2004 Two Transferases and Four Electrolytes in Normal One-Humped Camel Serum. Journal of Camel Science.1:57-61. 

Sharma S K, Singh J, Peshin P K and Singh A 1983 Evaluation of Chloral Hydrate Anesthesia in Camels. Zenlralblatt Fur Velerinarmedizin.30A:674-681. 

Temesgen Desalegn 2010 Assessment of Some Critical Mineral Elements in Feed, Non conventional Mineral Supplements and Serum of Camels (Camelus dromedarius) in Jijiga Woreda. An MSc Thesis Presented to the School of Graduate Studies of Haramaya University. p.125-134. 

Underwood E J and Suttle N F 1999 The Mineral Nutrition of Livestock (3rd ed). Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International, United Kingdom. 

Wahbi A A, Abdelgadir S E,  Neimat A A and Idris O F 1980  Plasma Electrolytes and Minerals of Camel in the Sudan. In: Cockrill WR (editor), Camels and Camelids. p. 431-437. Uppsala, Sweden.


Received 25 February 2012; Accepted 7 March 2012; Published 2 April 2012

Go to top