Merck Manual

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Fungal Poisoning in Domestic Animals

Fungal Poisoning in Domestic Animals

Disease

Fungi or Molds

Regions Where Reported

Contaminated Toxic Foodstuff

Animal(s) Affected

Signs and Tissue Changes

Aflatoxicosis

Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus

Widespread (warmer climatic zones)

Moldy peanuts, soybeans, cottonseeds, rice, sorghum, corn (maize), other cereals

Dogs, chickens

Major effects are slow growth and toxicity of the liver

Ergotism

Claviceps purpurea

Widespread

Seedheads of many grasses, grains

Horses, chickens

Peripheral gangrene, late gestation suppression of lactation initiation

Claviceps paspali, C. cinerea

Widespread

Seedheads of paspalum grasses

Horses

Acute tremors and incoordination

Estrogenism

Fusarium graminearum

Widespread

Moldy corn and pelleted cereal feeds

Chickens

Reduced egg production

Fescue foot

Acremonium coenophialum

US, Australia, New Zealand, Italy

Tall fescue grass (Festuca arundinacea)

Horses

Lameness, weight loss, fever, dry gangrene of extremities, no milk production, thickened fetal membranes

Fusariotoxicosis

Fusarium sporotrichoides, F culmorum, F graminearum, F nivale

Widespread

Cereal crops, moldy roughage

Horses, chickens

Feed refusal, decreased appetite and milk production, diarrhea, staggers, skin irritation, immunosuppression

Leukoencephalomalacia

Fusarium verticilloides

Egypt, US, South Africa, Greece

Moldy corn (maize)

Horses, other equids

Depends on degree and specific site of brain injury

Mycotoxic lupinosis (as distinct from alkaloid poisoning)

Phomopsis leptostromiformis

Widespread

Moldy seed, pods, stubble, and haulm of several Lupinus species affected by Phomopsis stem blight

Horses

Listlessness, no appetite, stupor, jaundice, marked liver injury; usually fatal

Myrotheciotoxicosis

Myrothecium verrucaria, M roridum

Southeast Europe, former Soviet Union

Moldy rye stubble, straw

Horses

Sudden—diarrhea, trouble breathing, bleeding in stomach and intestines, immunosuppression, death

Longterm—Stomach and intestinal ulcers, unthriftiness, gradual recovery

Ochratoxicosis

Aspergillus ochraceus and others, Penicillium viridicatum, P citrinum

Widespread

Moldy barley, corn, wheat

Chickens

Kidney edema and enlargement, kidney failure, increased water consumption, immunosuppression

Penicillium-associated tremorgens

Penicillium crustosum, P cyclopium, P commune

Widespread

Cereal grains, cheese, fruit, meats, nuts, refrigerated foods, compost

Dogs, horses

Neurotoxic signs, including tremors, seizures, hyperexcitability, unsteadiness. Vomiting in dogs.

Perennial ryegrass staggers

Acremonium loliae, an endophyte fungus confined to Lolium perenne

Australia, New Zealand, Europe, US

Endophyte-infected ryegrass pastures

Horses

Tremors, incoordination, collapse, convulsive spasms

Poultry hemorrhagic syndrome

Probably Aspergillus flavus, A clavatus, Penicillium Purpurogenum, Alternaria sp

USA

moldy grain and meal

Growing chickens

Depression, lack of appetite, no weight gain, widespread internal bleeding, anemia, death

Slobbers syndrome

Rhizoctonia leguminicola

USA

Black patch disease, legumes (especially red clover) eaten as forage or hay

Horses

Drooling, bloat, diarrhea, sometimes death. Recovery usual when removed from clover.

Stachybotryotoxicosis

Stachybotrys atra (S alternans)

Former Soviet Union, southest Europe

Moldy roughage, other contaminated feed

Horses

Mouth sores, lack of appetite, bleeding in many organs, inflamed intestines, immunosuppression

Sweet clover poisoning

Penicillium, Mucor, and Aspergillus species

North America

Sweet clover (Melilotus species)

Horses

Stiffness, lameness, bleeding from the nose or into the gastrointestinal tract

Tremorgen ataxia syndrome

Penicillium crustosum, P puberulum, P verruculosum, P roqueforti, Aspergillus flavus, A fumigatus, A clavatus, and others

US, South Africa, probably worldwide

Moldy feed

All species

Tremors, rapid breathing, incoordination, collapse, convulsive spasms