Short Communication

Gangrenous ergotism in cattle grazing fescue (Festuca elatior L.) in South Africa : clinical communication

C.J. Botha, T.W. Naude, M.L. Moroe, G.E. Rottinghaus
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 75, No 1 | a449 | DOI: | © 2004 C.J. Botha, T.W. Naude, M.L. Moroe, G.E. Rottinghaus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 June 2004 | Published: 18 June 2004

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C.J. Botha,
T.W. Naude,
M.L. Moroe,
G.E. Rottinghaus,

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The 1st outbreak of fescue toxicosis in South Africa was recently confirmed in a Brahman herd at Perdekop, near Standerton, in Mpumalanga province, SouthAfrica.Within 3 weeks of being placed on a fescue pasture in mid-winter, 50 of 385 cattle developed lameness and / or necrosis of the tail. The farmer had established Festuca elatior L. (tall fescue, Iewag variety) on c. 140 ha for winter grazing. Fescue may be infected by an endophyte, Neotyphodium coenophialum, which produces ergot alkaloids, in particular ergovaline. Ergovaline concentrations in basal leaf sheaths and grass stems collected during the outbreak ranged from 1720-8170 ppb on a dry-matter basis.


Cattle; Ergotism; Ergovaline; Fescue; Festuca Elatior; Neotyphodium Coenophialum


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