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Cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii as a probable cause of death in cattle in northern Queensland

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Thomas, A.D., Saker, M.L., Norton, J.H. and Olsen, R.D. (1998) Cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii as a probable cause of death in cattle in northern Queensland. Australian Veterinary Journal, 76 (9). pp. 592-594.


Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-0813.1998.tb10233...

Publisher URL: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/home


Livestock deaths due to cyanobacterial (blue-green algal) poisoning have mainly been caused by toxic strains of Anabaena circinalis, A spiroides, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Microcystis aeruginosa and Nodularia spumigena(1-5). In Australia, cattle and sheep have since 1878 succumbed to cyanobacterial poisoning caused by A circinalis, M aeruginosa and N spumigena(1, 6-8).

The possibility of another cyanobacterium being a cause of poisoning in man and animals in Australia was raised by Hayman in 1992(9). He suggested that the signs of the illness known as Barcoo fever, which has been known in northern Australia since the 1880s, were reminiscent of those caused by the tropical cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii. The severity of illness, although it only manifested in the mildest form of nausea and fever, was related to the amount of water ingested from contaminated water supplies(9). During the same time, there have been numerous anecdotes about losses of cattle and sheep in northern and western Queensland after drinking from dams and waterholes contaminated with scum or ‘paint slicks’ indicative of cyanobacteria. In 1992, stock poisoning due to C raciborskii was suspected in Western Australia(10).

This article reports the death of three cows and ten calves due to suspected poisoning by cyanobacterium C raciborskii on a property in the McKinley Shire of northern Queensland.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:Reproduced with permission from the © Australian Veterinary Journal. Access to published version may be available via Publisher’s website.
Keywords:Cyanobacterium Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii; blue-green algal poisoning; Barcoo fever; cattle; sheep; northern and western Queensland; cyanobacteria.
Subjects:Veterinary medicine > Veterinary toxicology
Veterinary medicine > Other diseases and conditions
Animal culture > Cattle
Science > Microbiology > Cyanobacteria
Live Archive:25 Mar 2004
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:47

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