Mycotoxins

Knowledge Centre

  • How to control and prevent mycotoxins
  • How to detect and test mycotoxins
  • How to spot a mycotoxin contamination in animals
 

Which mycotoxins are we dealing with?

A mycotoxin is a toxic secondary metabolite produced by organisms of the fungi kingdom, commonly known as moulds. The term 'mycotoxin' is usually reserved for the toxic chemical products produced by fungi that readily colonise crops. This section gives you an update on the different mycotoxin groups and which mycotoxin species fall under each group. Also the occurrence per region is mentioned and the effects per animal species. Click on the words around the grain picture to read more about the individual mycotoxins per group.

Aflatoxins:  Aflatoxins are produced by the mould Aspergillus. Aflatoxin M1, B1 and B2 are toxic for animals. M1 for example can be transferred into the milk of dairy cows as well. Aflatoxins are commonly found in South America and Africa.

Altenaria mycotoxins: The type of mycotoxins are produced by a variety of fungi and are found in sorghum wheat and barley amongst others. In livestock animals it causes poor growth and reduction in feed efficiency. 

Ergot alkaloidsThe ergot alkaloids are formed by the Claviceps fungi and cause health problems for both cattle, as pigs and poultry. In pigs for example, the ergots can cause reproductive disorders.  

FumonisinsThese type of mycotoxins are commonly found and pose a risk to all animal species. Produced by Fusarium fungi, this mycotoxin is found in all grain types and has 2 different varieties: the B1 and B2.

OchratoxinsThe ochratoxin A and B mycotoxins are commonly found in Europe and Russia and less found in South America for example. It has an effect on the immune system and can cause carcinogenic disorders in farm animals.  

Trichothecenes AProduced by different Fusarium fungi, these type of mycotoxins are pretty much found in all regions of the world. It causes digestive problems and loss of appetite in both cattle, pigs and poultry.

Trichothecenes BThese type of mycotoxins are found in all regions of the world. The NOV, 15-DON and DON varieties of this mycotoxin cause a range of health and production problems , such as poor egg shell quality in layers.

ZearalenonesThese type of mycotoxins are known to cause a range of fertility problems in livestock animals. In cattle for example, this mycotoxins causes embryo death and ovarian cysts.

Other mycotoxins: There are also many other types of mycotoxins that do not fall under the above mentioned categories. These smaller mycotoxins, found in different types of feed grains, include patulin and citrinin for example.