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J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 30;62(30):7376-81. doi: 10.1021/jf5027229. Epub 2014 Jul 17.

The role of the Oregon State University Endophyte Service Laboratory in diagnosing clinical cases of endophyte toxicoses.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and ‡Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University , Corvallis, Oregon 97331, United States.


The Oregon State University Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agricultural Sciences instituted the Endophyte Service Laboratory to aid in diagnosing toxicity problems associated with cool-season grasses in livestock. The endophyte (Neotyphodium coenophalum) present in tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) produces ergopeptine alkaloids, of which ergovaline is the molecule used to determine exposure and toxicity thresholds for the vasoconstrictive conditions "fescue foot" and "summer slump". Another vasoconstrictive syndrome, "ergotism," is caused by a parasitic fungus, Claviceps purpurea, and its primary toxin, ergotamine. "Ryegrass staggers" is a neurological condition that affects livestock consuming endophyte (Neotyphodium lolii)-infected perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) with high levels of lolitrem B. HPLC-fluorescent analytical methods for these mycotoxins are described and were used to determine threshold levels of toxicity for ergovaline and lolitrem B in cattle, sheep, horses, and camels. In addition, six clinical cases in cattle are presented to illustrate diagnosis of these three diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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