Current Understanding of Acute Bovine Liver Disease in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • Acute bovine liver disease (ABLD) is a hepatotoxicity principally of cattle which occurs in southern regions of Australia. Severely affected animals undergo rapid clinical progression with mortalities often occurring prior to the recognition of clinical signs. Less severely affected animals develop photosensitization and a proportion can develop liver failure. The characteristic histopathological lesion in acute fatal cases is severe, with acute necrosis of periportal hepatocytes with hemorrhage into the necrotic areas. Currently there are a small number of toxins that are known to cause periportal necrosis in cattle, although none of these have so far been linked to ABLD. Furthermore, ABLD has frequently been associated with the presence of rough dog's tail grass (Cynosurus echinatus) and Drechslera spp. fungi in the pasture system, but it is currently unknown if these are etiological factors. Much of the knowledge about ABLD is contained within case reports, with very little experimental research investigating the specific cause(s). This review provides an overview of the current and most recently published knowledge of ABLD. It also draws on wider research and unpublished reports to suggest possible fungi and mycotoxins that may give rise to ABLD.

publication date

  • 2017

published in