Clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in 70 cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid

Department of Pathology and Toxicology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Impact Factor: 1.56). 10/2008; 233(5):729-37. DOI: 10.2460/javma.233.5.729
Source: PubMed


To document clinicopathologic, histologic, and toxicologic findings in cats inadvertently exposed to pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid.
Case series.
70 cats from a single cattery inadvertently fed contaminated food that was the subject of a March 2007 recall.
Clinical signs, clinicopathologic and histopathologic findings, and results of toxicologic analyses were recorded.
Clinical signs were identified in 43 cats and included inappetence, vomiting, polyuria, polydipsia, and lethargy. Azotemia was documented in 38 of the 68 cats for which serum biochemical analyses were performed 7 to 11 days after consumption of the contaminated food. One cat died, and 13 were euthanized. Histologic examination of kidney specimens from 13 cats revealed intratubular crystalluria, tubular necrosis with regeneration, and subcapsular perivascular inflammation characterized by perivascular fibroplasia or fibrosis and inflammation with intravascular fibrin thrombi. Toxicologic analyses revealed melamine and cyanuric acid in samples of cat food, vomitus, urine, and kidneys.
In cats unintentionally fed pet food contaminated with melamine and cyanuric acid, the most consistent clinical and pathologic abnormalities were associated with the urinary tract, specifically tubular necrosis and crystalluria.

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    • "Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) combined with ultraviolet (UV) or mass spectrometry (MS) detector are the most common methods used to detect melamine in foods and feedstuff [1, 14–16]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The protective effect of natural bees' honey to the liver of male albino rats against melamine toxicity was studied. Melamine supplementation at a dose of 20000 ppm in the diet for 28 days induced adverse effects on the liver, decreased serum total protein and increased liver enzyme: alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase. Histological changes of the melamine supplemented group showed necrosis in the hepatic tissues around the central veins of the liver and precipitation of melamine crystals. Treating the male albino rats (that were presupplemented regularly with 20000 ppm melamine) with natural bees' honey at a dose of 2.5 g/kg body weight for 28 days improved both liver functions and increased serum protein. In addition, a positive impact on the shape of the cells after treatment with honey compared to the positive melamine supplemented group was observed. In conclusion, the results of this study revealed that the use of natural bees' honey has the ability to protect the liver of rats against the toxic effects of melamine.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013
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    • "During 2007, a large number of pets in the US, Canada, and South Africa died of renal failure caused by a crystal nephropathy which was induced by co-ingestion of melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CYA) in contaminated pet foods (Brown et al., 2007; Cianciolo et al., 2008; Reyers, 2007; Thompson et al., 2008; USFDA, 2007a). These nitrogen rich triazine compounds were added to feed ingredients to falsely boost the apparent protein levels and were used not only in pet food, but also in livestock and fish feeds (Reimschuessel et al., 2008a; Reyers, 2008; USFDA, 2007b; Luengyosluechakul , 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated renal melamine-cyanurate crystal spherulite formation after single and repeated ingestion of both melamine (MEL) and cyanuric acid (CYA) in catfish and trout. MEL and CYA were co-administered orally over a range of doses, 0.1-20mg/kg body weight (bw) of each compound, either once or repeatedly for 4, 14 or 28 days (d). In catfish, the No Observable Adverse Effects Levels (NOAELs) for crystal formation for single, 4d or 14 d dosing were 10, 2.5 and 0.5mg/kg bw, respectively. In trout, the respective NOAELs were 2.5, 2.5 and 0.5mg/kg bw. No renal crystals formed in catfish fed 0.1mg/kg bw of each compound for 28 d. Sequential administration of 20mg/kg bw of MEL followed by 20mg/kg bw of CYA or vise-versa, with waiting periods of 1, 3, 7, 14 or 21 d between compound dosing also induced renal crystal formation in fish. These studies show that both catfish and trout are sensitive, non-mammalian models, for renal crystal formation following MEL and CYA ingestion. Since fish generally excrete chemicals more slowly than mammals, they may provide a "worst case scenario" model for higher risk populations, such as infants or persons with compromised renal function.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Food and chemical toxicology: an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association
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    • "The TDI is an estimate of the maximum amount of an agent to which an individual could be exposed on a daily basis over the course of a lifetime without an appreciable health risk (FDA, 2008). The WHO indicated that the new TDI is meant to help national authorities set safe limits in food for withdrawal purposes should melamine be detected as a result of intentional adulteration The World Health Organization indicated that tiny traces of the chemical melamine are not harmful in most foods, but it joined the U.S. and EU in setting a strict limit that regulators should impose before pulling products off the shelf (Jordans, 2008). This TDI for melamine has been set at 0.2 mg/kg body weight (bw) and for cyanuric acid as 1.5 mg/kg body weight is the outcome of a meeting organized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Ottawa, Canada (CFIA, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Bridgetown, Barbados 6th – 10th July, 2009
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