SESC case archive

06/09/2022 | Porcine

Congenital porphyria in a pig carcass

Samples were submitted from a 6,5 months old, hybrid pig carcass,  which showed a darkish coloration of the bone marrow and the lymph nodes. Unfortunately, the viscera couldn’t be evaluated.

The samples were observed under the Wood lamp (UV) and revealed bright orange autoflorescense. Additionally, the histopathologic study revealed abundant brown extracellular material both on the bone marrow and lymph node.

All the findings regarding the characteristics of this pigment are consistent with congenital porphyria. Congenital erythropoietic porphyria affects multiple species such as bovine, swine, cats and humans and consists of a genetic defect that affects the metabolism of hemoglobin and leads to accumulation of the pigment in the skin, bone, teeth... depending on the species it can also produce anemia and/or photosensitization. Pigs only suffer from pigmentation in teeth and bone and uroporphyrin presence in urine, and never develop anemia or photosensitization. It is known that this condition is inherited with a dominant autosomal pattern but the specific genetic defect it is yet not known. (AC)

Mitja canal de porc en la que la medul·la òssia presenta una coloració enfosquida.

Half carcass of a pig which shows a darkened bone marrow.

Comparació de la canal amb porfíria (dreta) amb una canal no afectada (esquerra).

Comparison of the carcass with porphyria (right) with an unaffected carcass (left).

Secció de la columna on s’observa el mateix aspecte del moll del os, a més d’una coloració enfosquida dels limfonodes cervicals.

Section of the spine which shows the same appearance of the bone marrow. Also, a dark coloration of the cervical lymph nodes can be seen.

Vèrtebres visualitzades sota la làmpada de Wood, mitjançant la qual es pot observar una coloració ataronjada intensa de la medul·la òssia. A la dreta, les vertebres d’un porc normal, sense autofluorescència.

Vertebrae visualized under a Wood lamp, which reveals a bright orange coloration of the bone marrow. At the left, the vertebra of a normal pig, without autofluorescence.

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