The aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic metabolites of Aspergillus flavus, A parasiticus, and others. Aflatoxicosis in poultry primarily affects the liver but can involve immunologic, digestive, and hematopoietic functions. Aflatoxin adversely affects:
Susceptibility to aflatoxins varies, but in general, ducklings, turkeys, and pheasants are susceptible, whereas chickens, quail, and guinea fowl are relatively resistant.
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic, but tumor formation is rare with natural disease, probably because the animals do not live long enough for this to occur.