An outbreak of disease affecting a herd of 16 dairy cattle which were fed mouldy, sprouted maize is
described. Eight of the cattle were affected, 5 of which died. The clinical signs included muscular tremors,
hypersensitivity, ataxia, anorexia and salivation. Aspergillus clavatus was the only fungus isolated from the
Clinical signs that were indistinguishable from those in the field outbreak were reproduced by dosing the
mouldy maize sprouts to a steer and a sheep, and by dosing another sheep with maize inoculated with a pure
culture of A. clavatus isolated from the mouldy maize on the farm. Light microscopical examination revealed
neuronal degeneration and necrosis in the midbrain, medulla oblongata and spinal cord of all 3 of these animals.
The disease is clinically and pathologically indistinguishable from the disease caused by the ingestion of
sorghum beer residue, and in certain respects it is similar to toxicoses caused by the ingestion of wheat sprouts
and malt sprouts infested with A. clavatus.
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