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Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira

versión impresa ISSN 0100-736X
versión On-line ISSN 1678-5150


BEZERRA JUNIOR, Pedro S. et al. Experimental poisoning by Aspergillus clavatus in sheep. Pesq. Vet. Bras. [online]. 2009, vol.29, n.3, pp.205-210. ISSN 0100-736X.

This paper describes the experimental reproduction of a neurological condition in sheep by the administration of a beer by-product contaminated with Aspergillus clavatus. Samples of this by-product, in which pure cultures of A. clavatus grew, originated from two farms where outbreaks of A. clavatus poisoning in cattle had occurred. The onset of symptomatology was 2 to 6 days after dosage with the contaminated beer by-product or pure A. clavatus culture. The clinical course lasted from one and a half to 12 days. Clinical signs were predominantly of locomotor and respiratory nature and included muscle tremors, hyperesthesia, and progressive tachypnea, rigidity of the pelvic limbs, posterior weakness, and recumbency. One sheep also showed occasional knuckling of fetlocks of the hind limbs. Gait abnormalities and tremors were more pronounced after exercise. In 6 of 7 sheep, appetite and dypsia were maintained until close to death or euthanasia. The main histological findings consisted of chromatolytic neuronal degeneration and necrosis in selected nuclei of the brain stem, the ventral horn of the spinal cord and the spinal, trigeminal, stellate and celiac ganglions. Three sheep also presented slight degenerative and necrotic changes in muscles of the pelvic and thoracic limbs.

Palabras clave : Aspergillus clavatus; sheep; beer by-product; poisoning; neuronal chromatolysis.

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