Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/18/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Moniliformin is a member of a group of toxic chemicals known as mycotoxins that are produced by certain species of fungi and can occur as natural contaminants of feedstuffs. Aflatoxins are a group of very toxic mycotoxins that occur naturally on a number of feedstuffs. These toxins have not been reported to occur simultaneously in a single grain source; however, many times several grain sources may be used in poultry and livestock feeds, thus the possibility exists for feeding diets containing both moniliformin and aflatoxins. This is the first report where diets containing both moniliformin and aflatoxins were fed to growing broiler chicks. The results show that performance was reduced by the moniliformin alone and the aflatoxins alone, and this effect was additive for the combination of moniliformin and aflatoxins. These data show that the combination of the mycotoxins may be more toxic than the individual toxins and may pose a potentially greater problem to the poultry industry than either of these toxins individually. This research may be used in assessing the importance of these mycotoxins to the poultry and livestock industries and assist in developing strategies to minimize the toxic effects of mycotoxin-contaminated grains.
Technical Abstract: The individual and combined effects of feeding diets containing 100 mg moniliformin (M) and 3.5 mg aflatoxins (AF)/kg of diet were evaluated in male broiler chicks from d of hatch to 3 wk of age. When compared with controls, body weight (BW) gains were reduced 29% by M, 13% by AF, and 33% by the M and AF combination. The efficiency of feed utilization was adversely affected by M independent of AF. Feeding M resulted in decreased relative weights of the bursa and increased relative weights of the heart; increased serum concentrations of creatinine and calcium; increased activities of alkaline phosphatase and alanine aminotransferase; and changes in hematological values. Feeding AF resulted in increased relative weights of the kidney and heart; decreased serum concentrations of total protein, albumin, cholesterol, and calcium; and decreased mean corpuscular volume. Feeding the combination of M and AF resulted in increased relative weights of the heart; decreased serum concentrations of total protein, albumin and inorganic phosphorus and increased concentrations of creatinine and activity of alanine aminotransferase; and changes in hematological values. Results indicate additive or less than additive toxicity, but not toxic synergy, for most parameters when chicks are fed diets containing the combination of 100 mg M and 3.5 mg AF/kg of diet. The likelihood of encountering these high concentrations of these mycotoxins in finished feed is small. However, additional data on the naturally occurring concentrations of M are necessary before the importance of this mycotoxin to the poultry industry can be assessed.