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Ciência Rural

On-line version ISSN 1678-4596


TORRES, Márcia Bersane Araújo de Medeiros; SALLES, Mônica Weissmann Seabra; HEADLEY, Selwyn Arlington  and  BARROS, Claudio Severo Lombardo de. Experimental poisoning by Crotalaria spectabilis (Leguminosae) seeds in pigs. Cienc. Rural [online]. 1997, vol.27, n.2, pp.307-312. ISSN 1678-4596.

To study the effects of the ingestion of Crotalaria spectabilis seeds, fourteen pigs were alloted in 5 groups. Four groups (A-D) consisted each of three pigs and the other (Group E) of two pigs. With the exception of those from Group A, which served as control, pigs were fed a ration containing 0.3 and 0.5% (groups B and C) and 1% (Groups D and E) of ground seeds of C. spectabilis for 32 (group D), 44 (group E), and 120 (groups B and C) days. One pig from Group D and two pigs from Group B died at 8, 70, and 137 days after the beginning of the experiment; the remaining 11 pigs were euthanatized at periods varying from 52 to 159 days from the beginning of the experiment. Ten of the 11 treated pigs had loss of apetite and poor growth rate. Depression, localized loss of hair, and respiratory distress were other observed clinical signs. Main pathological changes occurred in the liver. They were acute in one case and consisted of accentuation of the lobular pattern; due to centrilobular to massive hepatic necrosis. The remaining 11 treated pigs had chronic hepatic lesions, which included firmness, thickening of the capsule and fibrous adhesions between lobes and between hepatic capsule and adjacent structures. Histologically there was capsular, interlobar, interlobular, and intralobular fibrosis, hepatomegalocytosis and proliferation of bile ducts. In two case there was bilestasis and, in one pig, nodular regeneration was observed. The lungs of 4 pigs were reddened and firm. Histologically there was thickenning of interalveolar and interlobular septa by edema, fibrosis, cell infiltration and type II pneumocytes proliferation. The kidneys were grossly unremarkable. Histologically there was megalocytosis of the tubular epithelium and of the cells of the glomerular tuft. Hialinization of the glomerular tuft was also observed. Mild to moderate cavitary edema (ascites, hydrothorax and hydropericardium) was observed in 6 pigs. Microscopic vascular lesions consisting of arterial wall thickening and hialinization were seen in the lung of 5 pigs and in the kidney of 3 pigs. Four pigs had microscopic changes suggestive of hepatic encephalopathy. Those changes were not observed in the controls.

Keywords : poisonous plants; Crotalaria spectabilis; Leguminosae; swine diseases; pirrolyzidine alkaloids.

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