Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Piva, A
item Casadei, G
item Pagliuca, G
item Cabassi, E
item Galvano, F
item Solfrizzo, M
item Riley, Ronald
item Diaz, D

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2005
Citation: Piva, A., Casadei, G., Pagliuca, G., Cabassi, E., Galvano, F., Solfrizzo, M., Riley, R.T., Diaz, D.E. 2005. Activated carbon does not prevent the toxicity of culture material containing fumonisin b1 when fed to weanling piglets. Journal of Animal Science. 83:1939-1947.

Interpretive Summary: Fumonisins are toxic chemical produced by molds found primarily in corn and corn products. In farm animals the consumption of corn based feeds containing fumonisins can cause several different diseases including a lung disease in pigs and a brain disease in horses and reduced performance in poultry. Several strategies have been proposed to treat farm animals exposed to toxic levels of fumonisins. One proposal was to add activated carbon to the diet to remove the toxic fumonisin from the digestive tract and prevent their uptake by the animal. This study in piglets evaluated the toxicity of fumonisin B1 (FB) using diets with and without the addition of activated carbon (AC). The consumption of FB diets significantly slowed the growth of the pigs and caused many changes in biochemicals in the blood that are indicative of fumonisin toxicity and also caused toxicity in the liver, lungs and other organs. The conclusion was that the addition of activated carbon in the diet was not effective in protecting, against the detrimental effects of fumonisin consumption and therefore should not be used to treat pigs following exposure to fumonisins.

Technical Abstract: Fumonisins are mycotoxins found primarily in corn and corn products and are produced by Fusarium verticillioides and several other Fusarium species. The toxicity of fumonisin B1 (FB) from culture material with and without activated carbon (AC) was evaluated using weaned piglets. Compared to pigs fed the control diets (control or AC), pigs receiving FB contaminated diets (FB or AC + FB) had a significantly lower feed efficiency (gain/feed), significantly higher serum concentrations of -glutamyltransferase (GGT) and glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT), cholesterol, free sphinganine, sphingosine-1-phosphate and sphinganine 1-phosphate. Although animals consuming FB diets showed no signs of respiratory distress all pigs consuming either the FB or the AC + FB diets had marked pulmonary edema. Significant lesions were observed in the lungs, heart and liver of pigs fed the FB or AC + FB diets and treatment associated changes were also seen in pancreas, intestines, spleen and lymph nodes. No lesions were observed in brain. In liver, lung, heart, pancreas, spleen, intestines and lymph nodes, the histopathological effects were more severe in the AC + FB group suggesting that the AC treatment worsened the toxic effects of FB. Additionally, immunological parameters of macrophage function (CD14) were significantly affected by the consumption of the FB diets. The consumption of FB diets containing 30 ppm FB1, from cultured material, significantly affected performance, biochemical parameters, and organ pathology in post-weaned piglets. The addition of activated carbon added at 1% of the diet was not effective in protecting, against the detrimental effects of fumonisin consumption.

Last Modified: 05/25/2017
Footer Content Back to Top of Page