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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331489

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Maternal ingestion of Ipomoea carnea: Effects on goat-kid bonding and behavior

Author
item GOTARDO, A - Universidade De Sao Paulo
item Pfister, James - Jim
item RASPANTINI, P - Universidade De Sao Paulo
item GORNIAK, S - Universidade De Sao Paulo

Submitted to: Toxins
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2016
Publication Date: 3/16/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62925
Citation: Gotardo, A.T., Pfister, J.A., Raspantini, P.C., Gorniak, S.L. 2016. Maternal ingestion of Ipomoea carnea: Effects on goat-kid bonding and behavior. Toxins. 8(3):74.

Interpretive Summary: Ipomoea carnea is a toxic plant found in Brazil and other tropical and subtropical countries worldwide, and often causes poisoning of livestock. The plant contains the alkaloids swainsonine and calystegines, which inhibit key cellular enzymes and cause cell death. This study evaluated the behavioral effects of ingestion of this plant during pregnancy on dams and their kids. Twenty-four pregnant goats were randomly allocated into four treatment groups and received the following doses (g/kg BW) of fresh I. carnea: 0 (control group), 1.0 (IC1), 3.0 (IC3), and 5.0 (IC5) from day 27 of gestation until parturition. Dam and kid bonding and behavior were evaluated by several tests, immediately after birth until six weeks of age. Dams from IC3 and IC5 groups spent less time paying attention to the newborn. There was a lack of maternal-infant bonding due to I. carnea poisoning. Kids from poisoned mothers had difficulty in standing, suckling, and in recognizing their mother hours after birth. I. carnea can also compromise the kids’ ability to learn and to retain spatial memory. The results indicate that kids from pregnant goats given I. carnea during gestation have significant behavioral alterations and developmental delays that may greatly reduce their survival.

Technical Abstract: Ipomoea carnea is a toxic plant found in Brazil and other tropical and subtropical countries and often causes poisoning of livestock. The plant contains the alkaloids swainsonine and calystegines, which inhibit key cellular enzymes and cause systematic cell death. This study evaluated the behavioral effects of prenatal ingestion of this plant on dams and their kids. Twenty-four pregnant goats were randomly allocated into four treatment groups and received the following doses (g/kg BW) of fresh I. carnea: 0 (control group), 1.0 (IC1), 3.0 (IC3), and 5.0 (IC5) from day 27 of gestation until parturition. Dam and kid bonding and behavior were evaluated by several tests, immediately after birth until six weeks of age. Dams from IC3 and IC5 groups spent less time paying attention to the newborn. There was a lack of maternal-infant bonding due to I. carnea intoxication. Kids from treated dams had difficulty in standing, suckling, and in recognizing their mother hours after birth. I. carnea can also compromise the kids’ ability to learn and to retain spatial memory. We suggest that kids from pregnant goats given I. carnea during gestation have significant behavioral alterations and developmental delays that may compromise their survival.