Twenty sheep were dosed with either Pachystigma pygmaeum or Fadogia homblei belonging to the Rubiaceae.
The experimentally-induced cardiotoxicoses were monitored by various clinical pathological parameters
and heart function tests. Elevated AST (aspartate transaminase) activity in the serum proved to be a more reliable
indicator of cardiac damage in gousiekte than either LD (lactate dehydrogenase) or CK (creatine kinase).
Persistent increases of AST activity were recorded from c. 14 days after commencement of dosing, and this
activity sometimes peaked as late as 30 days after the dosing had ceased. Tachycardia and diminished heart
function were registered only terminally. Lesions of gousiekte were present in all the sheep that were exposed to
In a field outbreak of P. pygmaeum, where 60 out of 90 sheep died, 14 out of the 15 animals examined had
increased AST levels compared with none of the 15 controls. These results indicated that increased enzyme
levels can be of use to identify affected animals during latency in a natural outbreak of gousiekte.
The articles have been scanned in colour with a HP Scanjet 5590; 600dpi.
Adobe Acrobat XI Pro was used to OCR the text and also for the merging and conversion to the final presentation PDF-format.