J Agric Food Chem 2019 Jan 18;67(1):43-49. Epub 2018 Dec 18.
Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service , United States Department of Agriculture , 1150 E. 1400 N. , Logan , Utah 84341 , United States.
The livestock industry in the western United States loses an estimated $500 million annually from livestock production losses due to poisonous plants. Poisoning of livestock by plants often goes undiagnosed because there is a lack of appropriate or available specimens for analysis. The Lupinus species represent an important toxic plant in western North America that can be toxic and/or teratogenic to livestock species due to the quinolizidine alkaloids. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using earwax, hair, oral fluid, and nasal mucus as noninvasive specimens to determine livestock exposure to the teratogenic Lupinus species. Quinolizidine alkaloids were detected in these four matrices in cattle that were administered a single dose of Lupinus leucophyllus. In addition, quinolizidine alkaloids from lupine were detected in the earwax of cattle that grazed on lupine-infested rangelands. This study demonstrates the potential of earwax, hair, oral fluid, and nasal mucus as noninvasive specimens for chemical analyses to aid in the diagnosis of livestock that may have been exposed to and poisoned by plants.