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Clinicopathological and biochemical study on Selenium toxicity in sheep

Mona S. Zaki, A. M. Hammam, Olfat M. Fawzi, Refat A. Youssef


Selenium is an essential trace element in living organisms as an integral part of seleno-enzymes, and it plays an important role in the maintenance of health, growth, and many biochemical-physiological functions of animals and humans. However, the excessive amount of selenium is toxic for so-called non-accumulator plants, animals and humans. The problem of selenium toxicity arises from the point that the safety margin is limited and the difference between the daily requires of selenium and the toxic doses is very narrow which leads to selenium toxicity as recorded in Qena governorate. Blood serum samples were collected from 20 morbid sheep (20/50), GOT, GPT were determined by spectrophotometer. Selenium and serum tocopherol were measured fluorometrically. Internal organs (lung, liver, kidney and intestine) biopsies were cultured in different culture media for detection of bacterial infection in morbid cases. Twenty cases from fifty sheep showed selenium toxicity by the ratio of 16%, their ages ranged between 3 to 6 months. All the toxicated animals exhibited higher selenium levels in the serum, in addition, the P. M. changes were identical. All the other similar microbiological cases were excluded. It was concluded that selenium toxicity in sheep can be diagnosed by clinical symptoms, post mortem examination (P.M.), and detection of liver enzymes activity.

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