News last update:14 Jan 2016

Mycotoxin effect underestimated

The consequences of mycotoxin contamination in poultry could be bigger than initially thought. This was stated by a Belgian researcher to a group of poultry farmers at a recent meeting in the Netherlands.

Direct damage is often reflected in mortality or clinical symptoms. But mycotoxins in low concentrations also have an effect on the structure and function of the small intestine and hence reduce the uptake and efficiency of vaccines and other medication. This was addressed by the Flemish researcher Gunther Antonissen from Ghent University, who presented his research findings at a recent poultry meeting in the Netherlands.

The research from Antonissen showed that the effects of mycotoxins in animal feed shorten the microvilli in the small intestine, making the intestine less capable of absorbing nutrients. Another conclusion from his work was that the immune system of the animal is weakened when the feed is contaminated with mycotoxins. Subsequently, the chance that the animals catches a disease will be greater. Antonissen addressed that there are still many things unknown about the effects of a mycotoxin contamination.

Earlier this year, Antonissen also spoke at a meeting, organised by Biomin and Panagro Health & Nutrition where he addressed the big effects on the poultry's gut, even low (considered safe) levels of mycotoxins should not be considered as 'safe'. Low levels of mycotoxins can still cause damage and reduce the profitability for the farmer.

Read more about mycotoxins in the All About Mycotoxin section.

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