Merck Manual

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Fusariotoxicosis in Poultry

By

Frederic J. Hoerr

, DVM, PhD, Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology, LLC

Last full review/revision Sep 2019 | Content last modified Oct 2019

The genus Fusarium produces many mycotoxins injurious to poultry. The trichothecene mycotoxins produce caustic and radiomimetic patterns of disease exemplified by T-2 toxin and diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS). Deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin, DON), fumonisins, and zearalenone are common Fusarium mycotoxins that are relatively nontoxic for poultry but toxic for swine.  

In poultry, fusariotoxicosis may result in:

  • feed refusal

  • caustic injury of the oral mucosa and areas of the skin in contact with the mold

  • acute digestive disease

  • immunosuppression and hemorrhages

  • decreased egg production 

Other Fusarium mycotoxins cause defective growth of long bones. The fumonisin mycotoxins produced by F verticillioides impair feed conversion without causing specific lesions. Moniliformin is also produced by F verticillioides and is cardiotoxic and nephrotoxic.

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