Mycotoxicoses are diseases caused by mycotoxins, i.e. secondary metabolites of moulds. Although they occur more frequently in areas with a hot and humid climate, favourable for the growth of moulds, they can also be found in temperate zones. Exposure to mycotoxins is mostly by ingestion, but also occurs by the dermal and inhalation routes. Mycotoxicoses often remain unrecognized by medical professionals, except when large numbers of people are involved. The present article reviews outbreaks of mycotoxicoses where the mycotoxic etiology of the disease is supported by mycotoxin analysis or identification of mycotoxin-producing fungi. Epidemiological, clinical and histological findings (when available) in outbreaks of mycotoxicoses resulting from exposure to aflatoxins, ergot, trichothecenes, ochratoxins, 3-nitropropionic acid, zearalenone and fumonisins are discussed. (+info)
Tasco-Forage: II. Monocyte immune cell response and performance of beef steers grazing tall fescue treated with a seaweed extract.
Effects of applying Tasco-Forage, an Ascophyllum nodosum seaweed-based product prepared by a proprietary process, to endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophialum [Morgan-Jones and Gams] Glenn, Bacon, and Hanlin)-infected and endophyte-free tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) were studied in each of 3 yr (1995, 1996, and 1997) in Virginia and in 1996 and 1997 in Mississippi. There were 48 steers at each location in each year (n = 240) in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement with two replications at each location. Steers in Virginia were Angus and Angus x Hereford with initial weights of 245 kg (SD = 20), 234 kg (SD = 9), and 265 kg (SD = 5) in yr 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Steers in Mississippi were 3/4 Angus and 1/4 Brahman and weighed 230 kg (SD = 8) and 250 kg (SD = 2) in yr 2 and 3, respectively. Tasco (3.4 kg/ha) was dissolved in water and applied to pastures in April before grazing was begun and again in July at the same rate. The grazing period was from mid-April to late September or mid-October. Total gains were higher (P < 0.05) for steers grazing uninfected than for those grazing endophyte-infected tall fescue. Rectal temperatures were increased (P < 0.05) due to endophyte infection at both locations; Tasco application decreased temperature of steers grazing infected fescue in Virginia (interaction, P < 0.07) but increased temperatures of steers grazing infected fescue in Mississippi (interaction, P < 0.05). Presence of the endophyte resulted in rough hair coats and loss of hair color, but the effect was partially offset (P < 0.05) by Tasco application in Virginia in 1995. Both monocyte phagocytic activity (all years and locations) and major histocompatibility complex class II expression (1995 only) were decreased (P < 0.05) in steers due to endophyte infection, but this effect was reversed (P < 0.05) by application of Tasco to pastures. Application of the extract from A. nodosum seems to have use in alleviating adverse effects of endophyte on immune function and may improve hair coat condition in cattle grazing infected fescue, but effects on rectal temperature varied due to location. (+info)
Tasco-Forage: III. Influence of a seaweed extract on performance, monocyte immune cell response, and carcass characteristics in feedlot-finished steers.
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) infected with the endophyte Neotyphodium coenophialum ([Morgan-Jones and Gams] Glenn, Bacon, and Hanlin) causes fescue toxicosis in cattle grazing the forage, but effects of the endophyte were considered to be abated soon after removal of the animals from pastures. Tasco-Forage, a proprietary extract from the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum, is a known source of cytokinins and has increased antioxidant activity in both plants and the animals that graze the forage. Tasco was applied at 0 and 3.4 kg/ha to infected and uninfected tall fescue pastures in Virginia and Mississippi. Forty-eight steers grazed the pastures at each location during each of 2 yr (n = 192) before being transported to Texas for feedlot finishing. On arrival at the feedlot, steers from Tasco-treated pastures had higher (P < 0.01) monocyte phagocytic activity and tended (P < 0.07) to have higher major histocompatibility complex class II expression than steers that grazed the untreated pastures. A depression (P < 0.05) in monocyte immune cell function due to grazing infected fescue was detected throughout the feedlot finishing period but was reversed by Tasco. Rectal temperatures were elevated (P < 0.07) in steers that had grazed the infected tall fescue when they arrived in Texas, but by d 14 no difference was detected. However, by d 28 the temperature effects of infected tall fescue were reversed. Steers that had grazed infected fescue had lower (P < 0.01) rectal temperatures on d 112 of the feedlot period, demonstrating a much longer-lasting effect of the endophyte on thermoregulatory mechanisms than previously thought. Steers that had grazed Tasco-treated pastures had higher (P < 0.01) rectal temperatures on d 56 than steers that had grazed untreated fescue. Steers that had grazed the Tasco-treated pastures had higher marbling scores (P < 0.05) regardless of the endophyte, but no effect of Tasco or endophyte on gain was measured. Our data suggest that Tasco application to tall fescue pastures alleviated some of the negative effects of tall fescue toxicity. (+info)
Influence of protein supplementation and implant status on alleviating fescue toxicosis.
Heat stress is a major problem in transporting stocker calves with symptoms of fescue toxicosis. Removing calves from tall fescue pastures and offering diets devoid of endophyte-infected tall fescue could reduce the severity of toxicosis and precondition calves for transport to the feedlot. In the present experiment, a pasture phase was used to condition yearling steers to grazing tall fescue and induce symptoms of fescue toxicosis, and a pen phase followed to determine effects of implanting at the start of grazing and protein supplementation (hay only vs hay plus supplement) on short-term changes in rectal temperature and serum prolactin concentration. Neither implant status nor protein supplementation affected (P > 0.10) white blood cell count or rectal temperature. White blood cell counts at the conclusion of the pasture phase averaged 8,778 cells/microL and were within a range indicating no immunological response. Changes in rectal temperature and serum prolactin concentration during the pen phase were not influenced (P > 0.10) by implanting or supplementation. Initial rectal temperatures for the pen phase were high (39.9 degrees C) but declined linearly (P < 0.001) over the first 106 h and were below a normal temperature (39.2 degrees C) by 82 h following removal from tall fescue pastures. Serum prolactin gradually increased (P < 0.001) to a peak by 82 h and stabilized thereafter. Results indicate that neither supplemental protein nor an estrogenic implant influenced recovery indices of fescue toxicosis, whereas removing calves from tall fescue pastures and excluding dietary tall fescue for 3 to 4 d may alleviate symptoms of fescue toxicosis. (+info)
Detection of endophyte toxins in the imported perennial ryegrass straw.
From 1997 to 1999, 29 cases of disorders were detected in cattle and horses that had been fed ryegrass straw imported from the U.S.A. These animals showed symptoms resembling ryegrass staggers and the clinical signs disappeared after removal of the straw. Endophytic hyphae were detected in the seeds of all straw samples that were responsible for the clinical cases. Lolitrem B concentrations in the straw ranged between 972 and 3740 ppb. Ergovaline concentrations were between 355 and 1300 ppb. Even though the concentrations of lolitrem B were lower than the toxic threshold proposed by Oregon State University in better part of the cases, our observations suggest the possibility that lolitrem B lower than the proposed threshold can bring disorders to sensitive individuals. (+info)
Acute penitrem A and roquefortine poisoning in a dog.
Penitrem A and roquefortine poisonings were diagnosed in a Laborador retriever following garbage consumption. Clinical signs of mycotoxicosis included polypnea, tachycardia, and ataxia that quickly progressed to lateral recumbency and seizures. Removal of the mycotoxins from the stomach soon after ingestion allowed the dog to recover within 72-96 hours. (+info)
Mycotoxins and reproduction in domestic livestock.
Molds are parasitic plants that are ubiquitous in livestock feedstuffs. Even though molds themselves reduce the quality of grains, their synthesis of chemical substances termed mycotoxins causes the greatest monetary loss to the animal industry. Five major mycotoxins that impair growth and reproductive efficiency in North America are aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, ochratoxin, and ergot. Aflatoxins are produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Consumption of grains containing aflatoxins by swine affects reproduction indirectly by reducing feed intake and growth. In swine, aflatoxins impair liver and kidney function, delay blood clotting, increase susceptibility to bruising, and interfere with cellular humoral immune systems. Ruminants are comparatively resistant to aflatoxicosis, but presence of aflatoxins in milk of dairy cows is closely monitored for human safety. Depending on environmental conditions, Fusarium roseum can produce either zearalenone or deoxynivalenol. Days 7 to 10 postmating seem to be a critical period of gestation for zearalenone to exert its detrimental actions on early embryonic development. Presence of deoxynivalenol in swine feedstuffs decreases feed intake, causes feed refusal, and induces occasional vomiting. Several species of Penicillium and Aspergillus produce ochratoxin, a mycotoxin that causes necrosis of kidney tissue. Ergot alkaloids produced by Claviceps purpurea on wheat can cause reproductive problems and are associated with lactational failure in swine. Various methods have been developed to remove mycotoxins from infected feedstuffs. Chemical analyses in laboratories as well as diagnostic kits suitable for use at the elevator or farm can be used successfully to identify which mycotoxins are present in suspect feedstuffs. (+info)
Effects of feeding diets containing endophyte-infected fescue seed on luteinizing hormone secretion in postpartum beef cows and in cyclic heifers and cows.
Two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of feeding endophyte (Acremonium coenophialum)-infected fescue (Festuca arundinacea Shreb.) seed on LH secretion in postpartum beef cows and in cycling heifers and cows. In Exp. 1, spring-calving primiparous Angus cows (n = 16) were pair-fed for 75 d diets that contained endophyte-free or endophyte-infected (95%) fescue seed that contained 1.3 micrograms/g of ergovaline and 5.2 mg/g of saturated pyrrolizidines. Serial blood samples for basal and GnRH-stimulated serum LH analysis were obtained on d 7, 28, 42, and 56 of the study. The endophyte had no effect on LH secretion (basal, pulse frequency, and amplitude) or milk production. Average daily gain was decreased (P < .05) in cows that consumed infected fescue seed compared with controls (-.20 vs -.01 kg, respectively). Basal serum prolactin concentrations were reduced (P < .01) in treated compared with control cows (8.9 vs 25.4 ng/mL, respectively) on d 70. In Exp. 2, cycling Angus heifers (n = 8; age = 2 yr) and cows (n = 8; age = 4 yr) stratified by age were pair-fed for 40 d diets that contained the noninfected or the highly infected fescue seed. Estrus was synchronized by prostaglandin F2 alpha (d 18 and 28). Serial blood samples for serum LH analysis were obtained on d 28 (luteal phase) and d 30 (follicular phase). The endophyte did not affect LH (P > .28) or prolactin (P > .16) secretion, whereas ADG was decreased (P < .05) in treated compared with control animals (.32 vs .70 kg/d, respectively). (+info)