Experimental poisoning by Baccharis megapotamica var. weirii in buffalo

José C. Oliveira-Filho, Priscila M.S. Carmo, Anita Iversen, Kristian Fog Nielsen, Claudio S. L. Barros

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    Five male 6-8 month-old Murrah buffalo calves were orally dosed with the fresh aerial parts of Baccharis megapotamica var. weirii at doses of 1, 3, 4, 5 and 10g/kg body weight (bw) (similar to 1-10mg macrocyclic trichothecenes/kg/bw). The B. megapotamica used for the experiment was harvested on a farm where a recent spontaneous outbreak of poisoning caused by such plant had occurred. Clinical signs appeared 4-20 hours and 4 buffaloes died 18-49 hours after the ingestion of the plant. Clinical signs were apathy, anorexia, and watery diarrhea, fever, colic, drooling, muscle tremors, restlessness, laborious breathing and ruminal atony, and dehydration. The most consistent gross findings were restricted to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract consisted of varying degrees of edema and reddening of the mucosa of the forestomach. Histopathological findings consisted of varying degrees of necrosis of the epithelial lining of the forestomach and of lymphocytes within lymphoid organs and aggregates. Fibrin thrombi were consistently found in sub-mucosal vessels of the forestomach and in the lumen of hepatic sinusoids. It is suggested that dehydration, septicemia and disseminated intravascular coagulation participate in the pathogenesis of the intoxication and play a role as a cause of death. A subsample of B. megapotamica var. weirii was frozen-dried and ground and analyzed using UHPLC (Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography) with high resolution Time of Flight mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry, it was shown that the plant material contained at least 51 different macrocyclic trichothecenes at a total level of 1.1-1.2mg/g. About 15-20% of the total trichothecenes contents was found to be monosaccharide conjugates, with two thirds of these being glucose conjugates and one third constituted by six aldopentose conjugates (probably xylose), which has never been reported in the literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPesquisa Veterinária Brasileira
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)383-390
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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