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Aust Vet J. 1987 Jul;64(7):207-10.

Natural establishment of thiaminase activity in the alimentary tract of newborn lambs and effects on thiamine status and growth rates.

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Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Regional Veterinary Laboratory, Bairnsdale, Victoria.


Thiaminase activity was detected in the faeces of lambs at 2 to 5 days of age. Levels of activity increased for 10 days and then declined over the next 3 to 4 weeks. Decreased erythrocyte transketolase activity indicated thiamine insufficiency in lambs with high thiaminase activity. Mean growth rates were 17% less in lambs with high thiaminase activity than in lambs with zero or low thiaminase activity. Bacillus thiaminolyticus was the only organism isolated which produced thiaminase. Treatment of newborn lambs with intramuscular injections of sulphadoxine did not prevent them from excreting thiaminase in their faeces. It is proposed that oral thiamine supplementation of lambs at 2 to 3 weeks of age may be the most appropriate prevention and treatment for subclinical thiamine deficiency of the cause described.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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