OLIVEIRA JUNIOR, Carlos Alberto de; RIET-CORREA, Gabriela and RIET-CORREA, Franklin. Intoxicação por plantas que contêm swainsonina no Brasil. Cienc. Rural [online]. 2013, vol.43, n.4, pp. 653-661. ISSN 0103-8478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0103-84782013000400014.
Poisoning of animals by swainsonine containing plants
Researchers from Universidade Federal de Campina Grande, Paraíba, Brazil, conducted a literature review on the poisoning of animals by plants containing swainsonine in Brazil. The paper was published in Ciência Rural , v. 43, n.4, April of 2013.
In Brazil, the plants containing swainsonine constitute a very important group of toxic plants, including Ipomoea carnea subsp. fistulosa, Ipomoea riedelii, Ipomoea sericophyla, Ipomoea verbascoidea, Turbina cordata and Sida carpinifoli. The substance causes nervous signs, especially in goats, but also in cattle, horses and sheep. Besides nervous signs, the intoxicated animals present hair coat and weight loss. Infertility, miscarriages, birth of weak animals and increased susceptibility to gastrointestinal parasites are described in chronic cases of poisoning.
According to the researcher Franklin Riet-Correa, swainsonine intoxication is the cause of economic losses in several regions of Brazil. Its control involves removing the animals immediately from where the plant occurs and eliminate infected areas.
Besides providing knowledge about the conditions under which poisoning occur, the article discusses new techniques that have been developed for the control of diseases produced by these plants. For Franklin, the most important technique is conditioned food aversion, which allows conditioning the animals to not eat more the plant.
The article also describes the control alternatives of Turbine cordata in the northeast region of Brazil and Ipomoea carnea in the northeastern and northern Brazil, regions greatly affected by swainsonine poisoning. The Institute of Science and Technology for Plants have also developed the technique of aversion to food poisoning by other plants, as well as other techniques such as the use of resistant animals, of less toxic forage and of rumen bacteria that hydrolyze the active plant.