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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: THE TOXICITY OF PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID-CONTAINING PLANTS AND OTHER HEPATOTOXIC AND NEUROTOXIC PLANTS

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Livestock Poisoning with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Containing Plants (Senecio, Crotalaria, Cynoglossum, Amsinckia, Heliotropium and Echium spp.)

Authors
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item Gardner, Dale
item Davis, Thomas

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 7, 2009
Publication Date: February 1, 2009
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: Stegelmeier, B.L., Gardner, D.R., Davis, T.Z. 2009. Livestock Poisoning with Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Containing Plants (Senecio, Crotalaria, Cynoglossum, Amsinckia, Heliotropium and Echium spp.). Rangelands. 31(1):25-37. http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.2111/1551-501X-31.1.45?

Interpretive Summary: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are potent liver toxins that have been identified in over 6,000 plants throughout the world. Alkaloids are nitrogen-based compounds with potent biological activity. About half of the identified PAs are toxic and several cause cancer (carcinogenic). PA-containing plants are the most common poisonous plants that affect livestock, wildlife, and humans. This paper will briefly introduce those plants that are of highest risk in rangelands of North America, summarize their toxicity and subsequent pathology and review current recommendation for treatment and avoiding poisoning.

Technical Abstract: Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are potent liver toxins that have been identified in over 6,000 plants throughout the world. Alkaloids are nitrogen-based compounds with potent biological activity. About half of the identified PAs are toxic and several cause cancer (carcinogenic). PA-containing plants are the most common poisonous plants that affect livestock, wildlife, and humans. This paper will briefly introduce those plants that are of highest risk in rangelands of North America, summarize their toxicity and subsequent pathology and review current recommendation for treatment and avoiding poisoning.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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