Krimpsiekte in South Africa : historical perspectives

06 May 2014

Krimpsiekte, also known as cotyledonosis or nenta in sheep and goats, has been recognised as a disease entity since 1775. However, it was only in 1891 that Veterinary Surgeon Soga reproduced the condition by dosing Cotyledon (= Tylecodon) ventricosus leaves to goats. Professor MacOwan, a botanist, confirmed the identity of these nenta plants. From a South African veterinary toxicological point of view the date 1891 is of considerable historical significance as this was the first time that a plant was experimentally demonstrated to be toxic to livestock in South Africa. A chronological account of the history of krimpsiekte research is provided.