Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/18/2003
Publication Date: 6/1/2004
Citation: Mclain-Romero, J., Creamer, R., Zepeda, H., Strickland, J.R., Bell, G. 2004. Toxicosis of embellisia fungi from locoweed (oxytropis lambertii) is similar to locoweed (oxytropis lambertii) toxicosis in rat. Journal of Animal Science. 6/1/04, Vol. 82, pages 2167-2174 Interpretive Summary: Swainsonine-producing fungi, embellisia sp., have been isolated from locoweeds, Astragalus sp. and Oxytropis sp. In this study, Embellisia fungus or locoweed (Oxytropis sericiea)was fed to rats and compared to control rats. The rats fed locoweed or fungus gained less weight, had modified blood enzymes, and lesions in their livers, kidneys and pancreas. Locoweed or fungus fed rats fed exhibited symptoms and pathology that were indistinguishable. Other bovine poisonings have been attributed to fungi within forage plants. Locoism is caused by a plant-fungal system. An understanding of the fungus may help in the design of locoism management strategies.
Technical Abstract: The toxicity of Embellisia sp. fungi isolated from locoweed was compared with locoweed toxicity using rat as a model animal. Rats were fed rat food containing alfalfa, locoweed, or alfalfa and fungus. Locoweed- and fungus-fed rats consumed swainsonine-containing food at approximately 1.3 mg./kg/d, gained significantly less weight and ate significantly less than controls. Alkaline phosphatase and aspartate aminotransferase enzymes were significantly higher in the blood serum of locoweed- and fungus-fed rats compared to control rats. Similar vacuolization was observed in renal, pancreatic, and hepatic tissues of rats given diets including locoweed or fungus.