Mycotoxins

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Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites of fungi such as Aspergillus spp. that causes a range of diseases in many species.[1]:53 Mycotoxicoses is the disease that is caused by a mycotoxin.

Aflatoxin is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus and may be found in moldy feeds, especially peanuts.[1]:53[2]:190 Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is of primary concern because it is the most abundant and the most toxic.[2]:190 The acute, oral median lethal dose of aflatoxin is about 0.3 mg/kg body weight.[2]:190

Zearalenone is an oestrogenic substance that is frequently recovered from maize and other grains contaminated by Fusarium graminearum.[2]:191

Trichothecenes, specifically T-2 toxin and vomitoxin, is another group of toxin produced by some strains of the fungus Fusarium tricinctum.[2]:191 It is relatively common in fibrous raw materials that have been harvested or stored in poor conditions.[2]:191 Administration per oz of 4 mg/kg body weight of T-2 toxin causes death within 24 hours.[2]:192 Vomitoxin (4-deoxynivalenol) may be found in cereal grains.[2]:192

Ochratoxin, a nephrotoxin, is produced by toxigenic strains of Aspergillus ochraceus.[2]:192

Citrinin, another nephrotoxin, is found in moldy cereals contaminated by various fungal species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Some rabbits die less than 24 hours after oral administration of a single 100–130 mg/kg body weight dose.[2]:192

Symptoms

Mycotoxicoses appears in chronic and acute forms.[2]:190 The acute form is caused by a rapid ingestion of large amounts of toxins over a short period of time.

Some symptoms of aflatoxic poisoning in rabbits include the following:[2]:190-191

  • decreased feed intake (anorexia)
  • weight loss and emaciation
  • lesions in the liver
  • changes in blood constituents
  • jaundice (icterus) in the terminal stages

Some symptoms of zearalenone toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:191

  • hypertrophic development of the genital tract of the female rabbit
  • changes in blood serum enzyme activities

Some symptoms of T-2 toxin poisoning in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • feed refusal
  • lesions of the digestive tract
  • impairment of blood-clotting mechanisms
  • alteration of ovarian activity of sexually mature female rabbits

Some symptoms of vomitoxin toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • feed refusal
  • vomiting
  • fetal resorption in female rabbits

Some symptoms of citrinin toxicity in rabbits include the following:[2]:192

  • acute erosive gastritis
  • fluid diarrhea
  • renal damage with tubular dysfunction and necrosis

Causes

Mold growth can occur on stored grains or other raw materials because of non-hygenic storage conditions or in the field on standing crops or during the harvesting of feedstuffs due to certain fungi.[2]:190

Further reading

The following are some journal articles about mycotoxins and rabbits:

See also

References