A tremorgenic mycotoxicosis of cattle caused by maize sprouts infested with Aspergillus clavatus.


Kellerman TS, Newsholme SJ, Coetzer JA, Van der Westhuizen GC.
Onderstepoort J Vet Res 1984 Dec;51(4):271-4


An outbreak of disease affecting a herd of 16 dairy cattle which were fed mouldy, sprouted maize is described. Eight of the cattle were affected, 5 of which died. The clinical signs included muscular tremors, hypersensitivity, ataxia, anorexia and salivation. Aspergillus clavatus was the only fungus isolated from the sprouts. Clinical signs that were indistinguishable from those in the field outbreak were reproduced by dosing the mouldy maize sprouts to a steer and a sheep, and by dosing another sheep with maize inoculated with a pure culture of A. clavatus isolated from the mouldy maize on the farm. Light microscopical examination revealed neuronal degeneration and necrosis in the midbrain, medulla oblongata and spinal cord of all 3 of these animals. The disease is clinically and pathologically indistinguishable from the disease caused by the ingestion of sorghum beer residue, and in certain respects it is similar to toxicoses caused by the ingestion of wheat sprouts and malt sprouts infested with A. clavatus.