Hypoglycin A Concentrations in Seeds ofAcer PseudoplatanusTrees Growing on Atypical Myopathy-Affected and Control Pastures

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Abstract

Background:

Hypoglycin A, found in seeds of Acer negundo, appears to cause seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM) in North America and is implicated in atypical myopathy (AM) in Europe. Acer negundo is uncommon in Europe. Thus, the potential source of hypoglycin A in Europe is unknown.

Hypothesis and Objectives:

We hypothesized that seeds of Acer pseudoplatanus were the source of hypoglycin A in Europe. Our objective was to determine the concentration of hypoglycin A in seeds of A. pseudoplatanus trees located in pastures where previous cases of AM had occurred.

Animals:

None.

Methods:

University of Berne records were searched to retrospectively identify 6 farms with 10 AM cases and 11 suspected AM deaths between 2007 and 2011. During October 2012, A. pseudoplatanus seeds were collected from 2 to 6 trees per pasture on 6 AM farms (7 pastures) from trees in or close to 2 pastures on 2 control farms where AM had not been previously reported. Hypoglycin A in seeds was analyzed by GC–MS.

Results:

Acer pseudoplatanus trees were identified on all AM pastures. Hypoglycin A was detected in all A. pseudoplatanus seeds in highly variable concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 2.81 μg/mg (mean 0.69) on AM farms and 0.10 to 9.12 μg/mg (mean 1.59) on control farms.

Conclusion and Clinical Importance:

Preventing horses from grazing pastures containing A. pseudoplatanus seeds during late fall and early spring might be the best means to prevent AM.

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