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Journal Title Abbrev.
J. Elem.
ISSN – 1644-2296
DOI: 10.5601

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Zinc in llamas and alpacas

Wydanie: 4/2021

Otrzymano: Maj 31, 2021

Zaakceptowano: Październik 17, 2021

Opublikowano online: 2021-12-16


Grzybowska D., Snarska A.

Kategorie: Medicine and veterinary

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2021.26.3.2162


Trace elements, including zinc, are crucial for the proper course of various biochemical processes occurring in the organisms of South American camelids. The increasing population of these animals in Europe necessitates the knowledge of their anatomy, physiology and nutrient requirements by breeders, scientists, and veterinary practitioners. Unfortunately, nutrition, mineral supplementation and treatment of trace elements deficiencies of llamas and alpacas cannot be fully adopted from cattle and small ruminants because South American camelids have different digestive tract anatomy, nutrient requirements and dietary habits than those species. Zinc plays a key role as a catalytic, structural or regulatory cofactor for a great number of enzymes and proteins in all mammals. It participates in carbohydrate, fatty acids and protein metabolism, collagen fibril degeneration, destruction of free radicals, erythrocyte membrane stabilisation, carbon dioxide transport, and it also influences transcription and cell replication. This element is also required for skin health and epithelial growth. Plasma zinc concentration differs from its concentration in whole blood due to zinc presence in erythrocytes. Age does not affect Zn serum and plasma levels but female llamas and alpacas have significantly higher whole blood zinc concentration than males. Zinc deficiency occurs relatively rarely but because zinc is necessary for the maintenance of healthy skin and coat appearance, this condition typically manifests in various skin lesions. Its contribution to changes in healthy appearance of coat and skin is a matter of great importance in llamas and alpacas because to a great extent those animals are bred for their fleece.  


Grzybowska D., Snarska A. 2021. Zinc in llamas and alpacas. J. Elem., 26(4): 913 - 922 . DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2021.26.3.2162

Słowa kluczowe:

New World Camelids, llama, alpaca, zinc, trace mineral homeostasis

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