Encephalopathy caused by Talisia esculenta intoxication in pregnant ewes and their newborn lambs

Valdir M. Almeida, Givaldo B. Silva-Filho, Hisadora A.S.C. Bom, Silvio M.C. Fonseca, Franklin Riet-Correa, Francisco A. Uzal, Kevin D. Woolard, Francisco A.L. Souza, Fábio S. Mendonça

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An outbreak of acute encephalopathy occurred in pregnant ewes and their newborn lambs associated with consumption of Talisia esculenta fruits and bark. Clinical signs in 5 adult pregnant ewes included drooling, bloat, tachypnea, depression, ataxia, body shaking, difficulty in rising, and recumbency. Three neonatal lambs born to some of those ewes had similar clinical signs. No significant gross abnormalities were observed on autopsy. Histologically, neuronal necrosis, axonal and dendritic swelling, and loss of Purkinje neurons were observed in the cerebellum. The observation of similar neurologic clinical signs and lesions in pregnant ewes and their neonatal lambs suggests that the toxic principle of T. esculenta crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1128-1132
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2021


  • ataxia
  • Brazil
  • encephalopathy
  • intoxication
  • lambs
  • pregnant
  • sheep
  • Talisia esculenta
  • talisin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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