Submitted to: Toxicon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2006
Publication Date: 9/14/2009
Citation: Dantas, A.F., Riet-Correa, F., Gardner, D.R., Medeiros, R.M., Barros, S.S., Anjos, B.L., Lucena, R.B. 2009. Swainsonine-induced lysosomal storage disease in goats caused by the ingestion of Turbina cordata in Northeastern Brazil. Toxicon. 49:111-6. Interpretive Summary: A central nervous system disease in goats has been observed in the municipalities of Juazeiro, Casa Nova and Curaça, state of Bahia, and Petrolina, state of Pernambuco, in Northeastern Brazil. On-site investigation of the affected paddocks noted that they were severely invaded by Turbina cordata. The disease was reproduced experimentally in two goats by feeding Turbina cordata mixed with grain. Observed clinical signs in the experimental animals were consistent with those produces by the locoweed toxin swainsonine. The concentration of swainsonine in the plant material was variable but contained as much as 0.14 % on a dry weight basis. Both the clinical and histological lesions were described from natural and experimental intoxicated animals. These findings demonstrated that T. cordata causes an acquired glycoprotein lysosomal storage disease causing severe losses in goats, and some cases farmers have reported the disease in cattle.
Technical Abstract: A disease of the central nervous system in goats was observed in the municipalities of Juazeiro, Casa Nova and Curaça, state of Bahia, and Petrolina, state of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. The disease was produced experimentally in two goats by the administration of dry Turbina cordata mixed with grain. Clinical signs were observed after the ingestion of 62 and 106 g/kg bw in 28 and 54 days, respectively. The concentration of swainsonine in the plant varied from less than 0.001 % to 0.14 % (dry weitht). Clinical signs of natural and experimental cases included difficulties in standing, ataxia, hypermetria, wide-based stance, intention tremors, spastic paresis mainly in the hind legs, nystagmus, abnormal postural reactions, head tilting, and falling. Diffuse vacuolation of neurons, epithelial cells of pancreas, thyroids, and renal tubules were observed on the histology. From the electron microscopy of Purkinje cells the vacuoles represented dilated lysosomes. These findings demonstrated that T. cordata causes an acquired glycoprotein lysosomal storage disease. The intoxication occurs at least an area of 27,000 km2 causing severe losses in goats, but some farmers reported the disease also in cattle.