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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Maricopa, Arizona » U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center » Pest Management and Biocontrol Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #375916

Research Project: Improved Environmental and Crop Safety by Modification of the Aspergillus flavus Population Structure

Location: Pest Management and Biocontrol Research

Title: Performance of broilers fed with maize colonized by either toxigenic or atoxigenic strains of aspergillus flavus with and without an aflatoxin-sequestering agent

item AIKORE, SAMUEL M.O. - International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
item ORTEGA-BELTRAN, ALEJANDRO - International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
item ERUBETINE, DAISY - University Of Agriculture - Nigeria
item ATEHNKENG, JOSEPH - International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
item FALADE, TITILAYO D.O. - International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)
item Cotty, Peter
item BANDYOPADHYAY, RANAJIT - International Institute Of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

Submitted to: Toxins
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2019
Publication Date: 9/26/2019
Citation: Aikore, S., Ortega-Beltran, A., Erubetine, D., Atehnkeng, J., Falade, T., Cotty, P.J., Bandyopadhyay, R. 2019. Performance of broilers fed with maize colonized by either toxigenic or atoxigenic strains of aspergillus flavus with and without an aflatoxin-sequestering agent. Toxins. 11(10).

Interpretive Summary: Corn and peanut comprise greater than 50% of the makeup of poultry feed in Nigeria, yet those crops are also frequently contaminated with aflatoxin, chemicals produced by fungal species in the genus Aspergillus that cause numerous problems in chickens, including growth suppression, poor egg shells, liver disease, high feed conversion ratio, immune suppression, and high mortality. Two solutions to control aflatoxin exposure are aflatoxin-sequestering agents (ASAs), which bind aflatoxins in feed to reduce their effects on chickens, and biological control, in which non-aflatoxin producing isolates of Aspergillus flavus are applied in the field to displace toxin producing species and thereby reducing actual amount of aflatoxin in the feed directly. Broiler chickens were fed one of three diets: control maize with no aflatoxin and no biocontrol isolates, toxigenic maize with 500 ppb aflatoxin, or atoxigenic maize that had been treated with a biological control product. Each feed was further divided into ASA treatments with no ASA, moderate ASA, or high ASA content. Broilers fed biocontrol-treated feed were not significantly different in final weight of daily weight gain from those fed control diets, while those fed toxin-containing feed were Significantly lower for both measures from control feed and biocontrol-treated feed, regardless of ASA content. These results show the both the effectiveness and safety of biocontrol treatments on poultry feeds.

Technical Abstract: In warm agricultural areas across the globe, maize, groundnut, and other crops become frequently contaminated with aflatoxins produced primarily by the fungus Aspergillus flavus. Crop contamination with those highly toxic and carcinogenic compounds impacts both human and animal health, as well as the income of farmers and trade. In Nigeria, poultry productivity is hindered by high prevalence of aflatoxins in feeds. A practical solution to decrease crop aflatoxin content is to use aflatoxin biocontrol products based on non-toxin-producing strains of A. flavus. The biocontrol product Aflasafe® was registered in 2014 for use in maize and groundnut grown in Nigeria. Its use allows the production of aflatoxin-safe maize and groundnut. A portion of the maize treated with Aflasafe in Nigeria is being used to manufacture feeds used by the poultry industry, and productivity is improving. One of the conditions to register Aflasafe with the national regulator was to demonstrate both the safety of Aflasafe-treated maize to avian species and the impact of Aflasafe as a public good. Results presented here demonstrate that the use of maize colonized by an atoxigenic strain of Aflasafe resulted in superior (p < 0.05) broiler performance in all evaluated parameters in comparison to broilers fed with toxigenic maize. Use of an aflatoxin-sequestering agent (ASA) was not sufficient to counteract the harmful effects of aflatoxins. Both the safety and public good value of Aflasafe were demonstrated during our study. In Nigeria, the availability of aflatoxin-safe crops as a result of using Aflasafe allows poultry producers to improve their productivity, their income, and the health of consumers of poultry products.