|Research Details: Shanmugasundaram Lab|
Poultry Health & Safety: Shanmugasundaram
Dr. Shanmugasundaram’s research primarily focuses on understanding and addressing poultry pathophysiology of mycotoxins, particularly fumonisins (FUM) and deoxynivalenol (DON), on necrotic enteritis and food safety pathogens. Poultry diets are often contaminated with two or more mycotoxins. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins decreases the tolerance levels of individual mycotoxins; multiple mycotoxins in poultry feed, even at subclinical levels, can acerbate the pathology of individual mycotoxins and predispose broilers to necrotic enteritis. Her primary research goal is to identify the lowest concentrations of combined FUM and DON that will not predispose broilers to foodborne pathogens. She wants to identify biomarkers for FUM and DON toxicity during broiler production. Her research on identifying the miRNA biomarkers to accurately pinpoint real-time mycotoxin exposure and toxicity will lead to improved early intervention strategies for mycotoxin mitigation. She also works towards identifying a broad range mycotoxin detoxifier that is effective against multiple mycotoxins in the upper part of the bird’s intestine before the mycotoxins could interact with the poultry gut.