Specific Goals and Objectives
Our hypothesis is that seasonal pasture myopathy (SPM) in North America and atypical myopathy in northern Europe are caused by seasonal ingestion of a toxin in box elder tree seeds, hypolycin A. We believe we can detect ingestion of hypoglycin A by measuring toxin levels in horses’ blood and urine. Exposed and early clinical cases may also be detected by monitoring serum creatine kinase activity.
- Develop an online, central database for SPM/AM cases throughout North America Determine if European and North American species of Acer tree seeds are located on all affected premises
- Determine if European and North American Acer seeds show higher levels of toxin concentration on affected premises as compared to unaffected premises at the same time of year
- Develop blood/urine tests that readily diagnose the exposure to the toxinthat causes SPM
- Determine horses’ relative risk for developing SPM/AM by assessing environmental factors, management practices, serum creatine kinase activity, and serum toxin levels concurrently
Funding source: This research is funded by the Minnesota Rapid Agricultural Response Fund.