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Mycotoxicosis in livestock species

Mycotoxicosis in livestock species -
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Date: March 30, 2022
Discussion created on 03/30/2022

Mycotoxicosis is the consequence of ingestion of feed (consisting of grains or forage) that contains toxic metabolites of fungi. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of mold production that have species specific effects, meaning not every mycotoxin will have the same effects on every animal. Which mycotoxins being produced depends on the species of mold present in crops and are influenced by both growing conditions of crops and storage conditions of grains after harvest. Presence of mold does not necessarily mean that mycotoxins will be present in the grains, however minimizing mold growth will limit toxin production. There are five predominant mycotoxins present in livestock feeds: Aflatoxin, Zearalenone, Fumonisin, Deoxynivalenol (DON), and T-2 toxin. These mycotoxins are produced from either Aspergillus or Fusarium fungal species. Cereal grains have the highest risk of contamination, especially when the crops are exposed to high temps and humidity. This is true for Aflatoxin, Zearalenone, and Fumonisin; whereas DON and T-2 toxins are more likely to be produced when it is rainy, cloudy, and cool. Mycotoxicosis in livestock species has many signs, with poor growth performance as a commonality. Aflatoxin can cause a reduction in uniformity, decreased gain, and increase in susceptibility to diseases. Zearalenone is known for its estrogenic effects leading sows and gilts to be the most sensitive. Fumonisin can cause growth variability, respiratory difficulty, and reduction in average daily gain and feed efficiency. DON and T-2 toxin usually have the clinical signs of feed refusal, poor performance, diarrhea, dermatitis, and unthriftyness. If a producer is observing any of these signs in their herds or flocks, then it is recommended to have the animal’s diet analyzed for mycotoxins to determine if interventions should be taken to improve the health and well-being of their animals. The tables below outline levels in the complete feed that producers should be aware of.

Douglas Lozada
Administrador Web
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