Each of two horses was dosed by stomach tube with culture material on maize of Fusarium moniliforme MRC 826. One horse developed severe hepatosis and mild oedema of the brain after 6 doses of 2,5 g of culture material/kg body mass/day in 7 days. The second horse, in a similar experiment but at a dosage rate of 1,25 g/kg/day, developed mild hepatosis and moderate oedema of the brain. In both animals the brain oedema was particularly noticeable in the medulla oblongata. The mycotoxin fumonisin B₁was extracted and purified from the culture material of F. moniliforme MRC, 826 which contained approximately 1 g/kg of this compound. A horse was injected intravenously 7 times from Day 0-Day 9 with 0,125 mg of fumonisin B₁/kg body mass/day. Clinical signs of neurotoxicosis, which appeared on Day 8, included nervousness followed by apathy, a wide-based stance, trembling, ataxia, reluctance to move, paresis of the lower lip and tongue, and an inability to eat or drink. Euthanasia was performed on the horse on Day 10 while the animal was in a tetanic convulsion. The principal lesions were severe oedema of the brain and early, bilaterally symmetrical, focal necrosis in the medulla oblongata. This report provides experimental evidence that fumonisin B₁, produced by F. moniliforme, causes equine leukoencephalomalacia.
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