Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 8, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The mycotoxins called fumonisins, are a group of toxic chemicals produced by certain species of fungi and can occur as natural contaminants of feedstuffs such as corn and other cereal grains. T-2 toxin (T-2) and deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) are other toxic chemicals also produced by certain species of fungi. To the authors' knowledge, fumonisins and T-2 or fumonisins and DON, have not been observed to occur simultaneously in a single potential feed grain source. However, because multiple grain sources are used in poultry and livestock diets, the possibility exists for diets to be co-contaminated by these mycotoxins. The effects of feeding these two combinations of mycotoxins to growing chicks has not been previously investigated. The results show that performance was reduced by the fumonisins alone, T-2 alone, and the combinations of fumonisins and T-2, and fumonisins and DON. This effect can best be described as additive for the fumonisins and T-2, and less than additive for the fumonisins and DON. It must be pointed out that, although toxicity due to fumonisins and T-2 was shown, it is unlikely that concentrations this high would be encountered under field conditions. This research may be used in assessing the importance of these mycotoxins to the poultry and livestock industries and provides information for use in developing ways to reduce the toxic effects of mycotoxins in contaminated grains.
The individual and combined effects of feeding diets containing 300 mg fumonisin B1 (FB1), and 5 mg T-2 toxin (T-2)/kg of diet or 15 mg/kg deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) from naturally contaminated wheat were evaluated in two studies in male broiler chicks from d of hatch to 19 or 21 d of age in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively. When compared with controls, body weight gains were reduced 18-20% by FB1, 18% by T-2, 2% by DON, 32% by the FB1 and T-2 combination and 19% by the FB1 and DON combination. The efficiency of feed utilization was adversely affected by FB1 with or without T-2 or DON. Mortality ranged from none for the controls to 15% for the FB1 and T-2 combination. Relative weights of the liver and kidney were significantly increased by FB1 with or without T-2 or DON. Serum concentrations of cholesterol were increased in chicks fed FB1 with or without T-2 or DON. Activities of aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and gamma glutamyltransferase were increased in chicks fed FB1 at 300 mg/kg alone and in combination with T-2 or DON, indicating possible tissue damage and leakage of the enzymes into the blood. Results indicate additive toxicity when chicks were fed diets containing 300 mg FB1 and 5 mg T-2/kg of diet and less than additive toxicity when chicks were fed 300 mg FB1 and 15 mg DON/kg of diet. Of importance to the poultry industry is the fact that toxic synergy was not observed for either of these toxin combinations and the likelihood of encountering FB1 at this concentration in finished feed is small. However, under field conditions with additional stress factors, the toxicity of these mycotoxins could be altered to adversely affect the health and performance of poultry.