Abrus precatorius (jequirity pea, jequirity bean, prayer bead plant). A
member of the plant family PAPILIONACEAE (LEGUMINOSAE). Trailing, twining perennial
vine with yellow or red flowers, and podlike fruit containing oval, shiny red and
Animals most affected
Ingestion of seeds used as beads in jewellery and necklaces.
The seeds are highly toxic and contain the phytotoxin abrin, a protein neither degraded
nor altered by gastric juices. Toxic oral
doses not known. (Chewing half a seed can cause death in man.)
Latent period of several hours between ingestion and manifestation of clinical signs:
vomiting, profuse haemorrhagic diarrhoea, watery faeces, dehydration;
ataxia, nystagmus, weakness;
coma and death.
hepatic and renal necrosis;
petechial haemorrhages throughout the
No antidote. Symptomatic and supportive care only:
rehydration therapy, iv fluids