Document Type


Publication Date

May 1987


The influence of trace metal contaminants (lead, cadmium, and mercury) on Sprague-Dawley rats was investigated to determine whether subclinical levels of these metals might have adverse effects on the host's ability to respond to an infective agent.In the present study, a trace metal contaminant-trypanosome system was employed to observe the hematological changes in rats infected with Trypanosoma lewisi. The animal groups were: (1) lead (Pb), (2) cadmium (Cd), (3) mercury (Hg), and (4) controls (animals not exposed to trace metals).Regardless of the trace metals, infected animals showed decreases in total erythrocyte counts and lower hematocrit values. Generally, infected animals also showed increases in total leucocyte counts, decreases in the percentages of lymphocytes and monocytes, increases in percentage of neutrophils, and no changes in percentages of eosinophils and basophils.

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