Vitamin E and Selenium Levels are Within Normal Range in Pigs Diagnosed with Mulberry Heart Disease and Evidence for Viral Involvement in the Syndrome is Lacking

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Mulberry heart disease (MHD) in pigs is characterized by lesions of acute haemorrhagic myocarditis and myocardial necrosis. The objectives of this study were to determine the levels of vitamin E and selenium and 13 other trace minerals in heart and liver tissues and to determine the prevalence of certain viral infections in heart tissues from MHD-affected and MHD-unaffected pigs and the vitamin E and selenium concentration in feed samples from selected farms with MHD. Based on the pathological examination, 114 pigs were separated into MHD lesion-negative (L-NEG) (n = 57) and MHD lesion-positive (L-POS) (n = 57) groups. Seventy-three samples (40 L-NEG and 33 L-POS) were subjected to chemical analysis, and 66 (32 L-NEG and 34 L-POS) were subjected to PCR detection for viral pathogens. Lower (P < 0.05) levels of myocardial copper, lower (P < 0.05) levels of hepatic magnesium and higher (P < 0.05) levels of myocardial and hepatic sodium were detected in the L-POS cases. Although lower (P < 0.05) levels of hepatic selenium were detected in L-POS group, all were within the normal range. Analysis of feed samples (n = 22) revealed that selenium levels in all the samples were above the legal limit (0.3 ppm) for pigs. Vitamin E levels in all feed samples were above 20 IU/kg. Among the 66 pigs subjected to PCR detection, there were 19, 4, 13, 8, 2 and 1 animals positive for porcine circovirus type 2, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, pan-herpes virus, porcine enterovirus, pan-pestivirus and porcine parvovirus, respectively. Clear evidence of viral association with L-POS was lacking.

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