ERGOTISM GROUP 2: Marc Corpuz, Chris Tan, Albert Cheng, Christine Toledo, Dexcel Petty, Hu Yu Wen(Stanley), Chen Yu Chien(Rex) PSYCHIATRY FATIMA COLLEGE OF MEDICINE June 10th, 2010
History..longlooong time ago: Human poisoning due to the consumption of rye bread made from ergot-infected grain was common in Europe in the Middle Ages. The epidemic was known as Saint Anthony's fire, or ignis sacer, and some historical events, such as the Great Fear in France during the Revolution have been linked to ergot poisoning.
DEFINITION Poisoning caused by consuming ergot-infected grain or grain products, or from excessive use of drugs containing ergot!
What is an Ergot? A fungus (Claviceps purpurea) that infects various cereal plants and forms compact black masses of branching filaments that replace many of the grains of the host plant. The disease caused by such a fungus. The dried sclerotia of ergot, usually obtained from rye seed and used as a source of several medicinally important alkaloids and as the basic source of lysergic acid.
Life Cycle of Ergot An ergot kernel called a sclerotium develops when a floret of flowering grass or cereal is infected by a spore of fungal species of the genus Claviceps. Infects ovary of fungus during infection When a mature sclerotium drops to the ground, the fungus remains dormant until proper conditions trigger its fruiting phase (onset of spring, rain period, etc.). When a mature sclerotium drops to the ground, the fungus remains dormant until proper conditions trigger its fruiting phase (onset of spring, rain period, etc.).
Claviceps purpurea The sclerotial stage of C. purpurea conspicuous on the heads of ryes and other such grains is known as ergot. Favorable temperatures for growth are in the range of 18-30°C, while temperatures above 37°C will cause rapid germination of conidia.Sunlight has a chromogenic effect on the mycelium with intense coloration.Cereal mashes and sprouted rye are suitable substrates for growth of the fungus in the laboratory.
Claviceps africana C. africana caused ergot disease resulting in a famine in 1903-1906 in Northern Cameroon, West Africa, and also occurs in eastern and southern Africa, especially Zimbabwe and South Africa. Male sterile sorghums (also referred to as A-lines) are especially susceptible to infection, first recognized in the 1960s, and massive losses in seed yield have been noted. Infection is associated with cold night temperatures that are below twelve degrees Celsius occurring two to three weeks before flowering
FOOD & NUTRITIONAL FINDINGS HISTORY Poisoning due to an ergot infection of rye which occurs from time to time among people eating rye bread. The last outbreak in the UK was in Manchester in 1925, when there were 200 cases. Symptoms appear when as little as 1% of ergot-infected rye is included in the flour
Causes The toxic ergoline derivatives are found in ergot-based drugs (such as methylergometrine, ergotamine or, previously, ergotoxine). The deleterious side-effects occur either under high dose or when moderate doses interact with potentiators such as azithromycin. Historically, eating grain products contaminated with the fungus Claviceps purpurea also caused ergotism. Finally, the alkaloids can also pass through lactation from mother to child, causing ergotism in infants.
MEDICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL SYMPTOMS CONVULSTIONS: ex-spasms, diarrhea, nausea GANGRENOUS: vasoconstriction induced by the ergotamine-ergocristine alkaloids of the fungus. PSYCHOLOGICAL: mania, melancholia, psychosis, and delirium.
Effects on Human’s-Gangrene The common name for ergotism is "St. Anthony's Fire", in reference to monks who cared for victims as well as symptoms, such as severe burning sensations in the limbs. These are caused by effects of ergot alkaloids on the vascular system due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels, sometimes leading to gangrene and loss of limbs due to severely restricted blood circulation.
Effects on Human-Psychological The neurotropic activities of the ergot alkaloids may also cause hallucinations and attendant irrational behaviour, convulsions, and even death. Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, and unconsciousness.
Wait…Benefits???... Ergotamine: It is used medicinally for treatment of acute migraine attacks (sometimes in combination with caffeine), and to induce childbirth and prevent post-partum haemorrhage. The anti-migraine effect is due to constriction of the intracranial extracerebral blood vessels through the 5-HT1B receptor, and by inhibiting trigeminal neurotransmission by 5-HT1D receptors.