Merck Manual

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Professional Version

Emerging Mycotoxicoses in Poultry


Dulmelis Sandu

, DVM, MAM, MS, DACPV, Alltech, Inc

Reviewed/Revised Dec 2023

The term emerging mycotoxicoses refers to toxicoses caused by newly recognized and less studied mycotoxins. Because their risks are not yet fully understood, further research and regulation guidelines in poultry are needed.

Examples of mycotoxins in this category affecting poultry include the following:

  • Enniatins:

    • produced by various Fusarium fungi in cereal grains

    • linked to reproductive and developmental harm

  • Beauvericin:

    • produced by Beauveria bassiana and Fusarium spp fungi in cereal grains

    • associated with immunosuppression and cytotoxic effects

  • Moniliformin:

    • produced by various Fusarium spp present in nature as a highly water-soluble organic acid

    • very toxic to chickens and other poultry species

    • has shown acute degenerative lesions of the myocardium, kidneys, and other tissues

    • may be immunosuppressive

  • Sterigmatocystin:

    • biogenic precursor of aflatoxin closely related to aflatoxin B1

    • reported to be hepatotoxic, hepatocarcinogenic, and cytotoxic

  • Alternaria mycotoxins (alternariol monomethyl ether, alternariol, and tenuazonic acid):

    • can be found in feedstuffs such as grains, fruits, vegetables, and seeds such as sunflower seeds

    • cytotoxic effects have been reported; toxic levels in poultry are not established

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