Med. Weter. 74

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JAN MARCZUK, JERZY ZIĘTEK, KATARZYNA ZWIERZ, STANISŁAW WINIARCZYK, KRZYSZTOF LUTNICKI, PIOTR BRODZKI, ŁUKASZ ADASZEK
Ergovaline poisoning in a herd of dairy cows – a case report
Endophytes are fungi of the genus Neotyphodium that live in symbiosis with grasses. The effects of this symbiosis can be both negative and positive. The negative effect may be due to alkaloids produced by endophytes that in higher concentrations are toxic to animals. The most common alkaloids produced by Neotyphodium fungi are ergovaline and lolitrem B. The current state of knowledge on the settlement of grasses by these fungi in Poland is rather small. It has been observed that fungi from the genus Neotyphodium occurring in a pasture sward can produce alkaloids. The average ergovaline content in grass from the permanent pasture in some areas exceeded the threshold level above which disease symptoms in animals may occur. The aim of this paper was to present a clinical case of ergovaline intoxication in a herd of 30 dairy cows. Out of the 30 animals, in 10 self amputation of the tails and visual disturbances were observed. Ergovaline poisoning was diagnosed on the basis of the results of analysis of the sera of infected animals by mass spectrometer. It enabled detecting a specific fraction in the serum of sick cows that was identified as ergovaline. The case of ergovaline poisoning confirmed by laboratory tests indicates that in some areas poisoning with this alkaloid may be a significant problem in the breeding of ruminant animals, which should be considered in the differential diagnosis of diseases with necrosis of the terminal parts of the body and decreased milk production
Keywords: cows, ergovaline, endofites intoxication