Maldronksiekte in cattle : a neuronopathy caused by Solanum kwebense N.E. Br.

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    A neurological disease of cattle (maldronksiekte), occurring in a localized area of the Northern Transvaal, was experimentally reproduced by feeding Solanum kwebense plants to cattle. The disease is characterized by temporary loss of balance and transient epileptiform seizures precipitated by a variety of stimuli, such as exercise, handling (dipping, loading, etc.) and fright. When not disturbed, most affected animals appear to be completely normal. The most conspicuous histopathological lesion is a neuronopathy manifested by vacuolar degeneration and eventual necrosis of neurones, particularly of the Purkinje cells in the cerebellum. An atrophy of the cerebellar cortex is seen grossly. The history, clinical signs and experimental reproduction of the disease, as well as the pathology of 4 experimental and 18 natural cases, are described.