Performance and tissue copper concentrations of control and Ascaris suum-infected pigs fed excess dietary copper

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Ninety-eight crossbed growing-finishing swine were used in 2 experiments to investigate the interaction between naturally occurring Ascaris suum infections and excess copper ingestion. In both experiments, pigs were fed a 14% crude protein basal diet or the basal diet + 250 ppm copper. These 2 dietary groups were subsequently divided into 2 additional treatment groups (A. suum-infected or uninfected) based on worm recovery from the intestine or from fecal egg counts. Excess dietary copper improved pig performance slightly, but it dramatically increased liver, kidney and lung copper levels. The A. suum infection did not affect pig performance, but it tended (not significantly) to reduce tissue copper levels. Serum copper was not affected by dietary copper or by A. suum infection.

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Journal of Parasitology

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