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Citrinin as a possible cause of the pruritis, pyrexia, haemorrhagic syndrome in cattle
  1. IB Griffiths and
  2. SH Done
  1. Veterinary Investigation Centre, Cambridge.


An outbreak of the pruritis, pyrexia, haemorrhagic syndrome affected eight of a herd of 175 cows which was divided into two groups of 115 and 60 according to yield. There was no difference in management between them but citrus pulp pellets were fed only to the larger group in which the eight cows were affected. Silage, which had been made without the use of additives, was also fed to both groups. The citrus pulp was visibly mouldy and contained 30 to 40 parts per billion of citrinin. Signs of the syndrome occurred within three days of the cows starting to ingest the citrus pulp, which was fed for 21 days, and the last case occurred six days after the feeding of citrus pulp ceased. Five calves whose dams had been fed citrus pulp were subsequently born with superior prognathism. In contrast to the eight cows that developed the syndrome only one out of 68 heifers which were fed larger quantities of citrus pulp for 10 days developed mild signs of the syndrome and then recovered, suggesting that older animals may be more susceptible. The clinical signs, gross pathology and histopathology are described and compared with those of previous outbreaks. Mycotoxins, particularly citrinin, were strongly implicated as the cause of this outbreak.

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