Outbreaks of Brachiaria ruziziensis and Brachiaria brizantha intoxications in Brazilian experienced cattle

Toxicon. 2022 Nov;219:106931. doi: 10.1016/j.toxicon.2022.106931. Epub 2022 Sep 24.


Brachiaria species are some of the most used forage species for raising Brazilian cattle because of their great nutritional value and adaptability to the tropical climate. However, cases of animal intoxication have been described. Animal species, age, genetic resistance, and previous adaptation to the forage can influence the susceptibility to intoxication. Cattle (young or adults), other adult ruminants and animals adapted to consumption (experienced flocks) are considered more resistant. The main clinical presentation is that of hepatogenous photosensitization. Brachiaria brizantha and Brachiaria ruziziensis are considered less toxic. The aim of this study is to describe three outbreaks of intoxication by B. brizantha and B. ruziziensis in experienced cattle, as well as to compare the concentrations of protodioscin in paddocks with and without clinical cases. It was observed that the two forage species are toxic to all age groups of cattle adapted to their consumption, and the concentrations of protodioscin present in the plant cannot be used as the only criterion for determining the occurrence of intoxication.

Keywords: Bread grass; Congo grass; Forage; Hepatogenous photosensitization; Protodioscin; Saponins.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brachiaria*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Cattle
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Plant Poisoning* / epidemiology
  • Plant Poisoning* / veterinary
  • Ruminants