Mycotoxin is a secondary metabolite produced by molds and fungi, normally at a stationary phase. In order for fungi to produce these secondary metabolites, they must be in stress by some factor, such as nutritional restriction, drought or water excess. One fungal species may produce various mycotoxins, and several fungal species may produce the same mycotoxin. One such type of mycotoxins is Aflatoxins.
Aflatoxin influences all poultry species. Increasing amounts of aflatoxin causes mortality and low levels can be impeding if consistently fed. Aflatoxin pollution can diminish the birds’ capacity to withstand stress by inhibiting the immune system. This malfunction can diminish egg size and reduce egg production.
Mycotoxins produced by the fungus Fusarium include: T¬2 toxin and it’s other relatives (trichothecenes), fumonisin, deoxynivalenol (DON), and zearalenone. The identification of these mycotoxins inside poultry rations demonstrates that the ration or the ingredients in the ration have been subjected to fungal growth.
Since various different mycotoxins, and in addition lessened nutritive value and acceptability of feeds, are produced by mold activity, the presence of deoxynivalenol, fumonisin, or zearalenone in poultry feeds is reason for concern. T2 toxin and trichothecenes can bring about mouth and intestinal lesions and in addition weaken the birds’ immune response, creating egg production declines, diminished feed consumption, weight loss, and altered feather patterns. However, in field circumstances the DON level is once in a while connected with reduced feed consumption in layers and broiler breeders. This implies DON might be an indicator that T2 or other unknown Fusarium mycotoxins are available.