Diplodiosis, a neuromycotoxicosis, principally of cattle, which is characterized by ataxia, paresis and paralysis, was induced in 13 cattle, 16 sheep and 3 goats, by dosing them with Diplodia maydis [=D. zeae (Schw.) Lév.] cultured on sterilized maize seeds. The results of these experiments confirmed the findings of earlier workers that diplodiosis is a mycotoxicosis caused by D. maydis. The intoxication was induced with cultures of South African isolates of D. maydis obtained from local maize, one of which was associated with a suspected field outbreak, and with cultures of isolates from maize imported from the United States of America and Argentina. Other findings emerging from the experiments were, inter alia, that cultures incubated for less than 8 weeks were seemingly non-toxic, that there was little individual variation in response of cattle to cultures of the different toxic isolates or batches of the isolates, that apparent relapses of clinical signs can occur several weeks after dosing had ceased and that a small percentage of animals can show permanent locomotory disturbance. Light microscopical examination revealed no lesions in acutely affected animals, but an extensive laminar subcortical status spongiosis was evident in the cerebrum and cerebellum of a sheep that had been long paralysed and a steer that had permanent locomotory disturbance.
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