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Mycotoxins in pig feeds

by 5m Editor
4 July 2001, at 12:00am

Irish Veterinary Journal - Here we highlight two articles published in the March and April 2001 editions of the Irish Veterinary Journal looking at mycotoxins in pig feed. The first article reviews the different toxins and looks at prevention and management of mycotoxicosis. The second article reviews the clinical aspects.

Mycotoxins in pig feeds 1:

Source of toxins, prevention and management of mycotoxicosis

By Peadar G. Lawlor and P. Brendan Lynch, Teagasc, Moorepark Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Mycotoxins affect up to 25 per cent of the world food crops. They cause significant economic losses in animal agriculture; some are carcinogens and teratogens, they may be transmitted to man in meat and milk. They are produced mainly by three genera of moulds: Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium.

Their presence can be confirmed using commercially available ELISA kits but quantification requires laboratory analysis using thin layer chromatography (TLC) or liquid chromatography (LC).

Mixing contaminated and uncontaminated feedstuffs, the use of binding agents (e.g., clays and mannanoligosaccharide) and the feeding of higher than normal levels of high molecular weight amino acids have all been used with varying degrees of success to lessen the effect of mycotoxins on pig performance.

Preventing mould growth and subsequent mycotoxin production during storage of feeds is more successful. This is achieved by storing clean grain at a moisture content less than 14 per cent in clean, preferably insulated bins. If grain must be stored at a higher moisture content or if storage conditions are poor then a suitable mould inhibitor (e.g., propionic acid) should be used.

Native grown cereals may be contaminated with vomitoxin, zearalenone, fusaric acid or ochratoxin. The presence of aflatoxins in animal feeds in Ireland is most likely to be due to the importation of feed ingredients from warmer climates.

Routine testing should be carried out at mills so that contaminated ingredients can be rejected or identified for feeding to the least susceptible species and type of animal.

To read this PDF article, Click Here

Irish Veterinary Journal - Volume 54: 172 - 176, Published March 2001.

Mycotoxins in pig feeds 2:

Clinical aspects

By Peadar G. Lawlor and P. Brendan Lynch, Teagasc, Moorepark Research Centre, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland.

Mycotoxins affect up to 25 per cent of the world’s food crops. As well as causing significant economic losses to animal agriculture, some mycotoxins are carcinogens and/or teratogens that may be transmitted to the human population in meat or milk.

In general, they are produced by three genera of moulds: Aspergillus. Penicillium and Fusarium. The clinical response to mycotoxins is dependent on the concentration in feed, on the duration of feeding, on the presence or absence of other mycotoxins, and on the species, age, and health status of animal to which the mycotoxin is fed.

The clinical response can vary from acute to chronic. Vomitoxin causes pigs to refuse feed, zearalenone affects the reproductive organs, ochratoxin causes kidney damage and aflatoxins increase susceptibility to disease through their action as immunosuppressants. Aflatoxins can also cause haemorrhages and digestive disorders.

To read this PDF article, Click Here

Irish Veterinary Journal - Volume 54: 172 - 176, Published April 2001.


Further Information

Further information on Mycotoxins is available by BROWSING or SEARCHING our Pig Health Database