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Environ Int. 2006 Sep;32(7):901-6. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Influence of copper status on the accumulation of toxic and essential metals in cattle.

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  • 1Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, Departamento de Patoloxía Animal, Facultade de Veterinaria, Lugo, Spain.


The aim of the present study was to assess whether the use of pig slurry and associated copper accumulation in calves grazing pastures fertilized with pig slurry from the Deza region in NW Spain has a significant influence on toxic metal and essential metal levels, and to investigate whether copper accumulation is correlated with the levels of these other metals. Correlations between copper, toxic metals (cadmium, lead) and essential metals (molybdenum, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese and cobalt) concentrations were evaluated in liver and kidney of 195 calves from the region of Deza. Metal concentrations were determined by ICP-OES and correlations between pairs of elements by Pearson correlation analysis. There was a strongly significant positive association between copper and lead in the liver. Considering the trace metals, copper in the liver showed significant positive correlations with cobalt in both liver and kidney, and with molybdenum in the liver. In addition, significant correlations were observed between copper and most essential metals in kidney. These associations are similar to those found in different animal species experimentally dosed with copper and other metals, as well as in cattle exposed to normal copper concentrations.

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