Over 50 mycotoxins can now be tested for at the Alltech 37+ Laboratories in Lexington, Ky., and Dunboyne, Ireland, including five new and emerging mycotoxins that can impact livestock intestinal health, cause internal organ damage, suppress the immune status, lower reproduction and reduce gain and efficiency.
Emerging mycotoxins refers to mycotoxins that are neither routinely analyzed nor legislatively regulated. However, research has shown more evidence of their increasing incidence and potential toxicity to animals. The emerging mycotoxins analyzed by Alltech 37+ include beauvericin; moniliformin; enniatins A, A1, B and B1; phomopsin A and alternariol. Fusaric acid is also featured in this emerging mycotoxin category.
“The Alltech 37+ mycotoxin analysis test is the cornerstone of the Alltech Mycotoxin Management program,” says Nick Adams, global director, Mycotoxin Management, Alltech. “We now test for 54 mycotoxins. With this new analytical capability, Alltech is better equipped to understand how contaminated feedstuffs might impact animal performance and health.”
Due to their toxic properties, mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they can impact feed quality as well as animal health and performance. Alltech’s 37+ test results provide a realistic picture of mycotoxin contamination in feed ingredients or total mixed rations, speeding up the process of diagnosis, and suggesting effective remediation and help towards an effective mycotoxin control plan. Since the first Alltech 37+ mycotoxin analytical services laboratory was established in 2012, more than 30,000 samples have been tested for mycotoxins in animal feed.
According to Alexandra Weaver, technical support for the Alltech Mycotoxin Management Team, the emerging mycotoxins are a newer category of mycotoxins, and categorized in this way because technologies now exist to be able to detect these mycotoxins and show that they are frequent and potentially toxic contaminants in feedstuffs/feeds. However, Weaver says despite the analytical technology advancing rapidly, animal research has lagged behind.
“With that being said, there is some knowledge of how these mycotoxins are impacting cells and systems within animals that could lead to their toxicity,” Weaver says. “Generally, these mycotoxins can impact intestinal health (structure or pathogen interaction), cause internal organ damage (liver, kidneys, heart), suppress immune status, lower reproduction, or reduced gain/efficiency.”
Some specific health challenges associated with these new and emerging mycotoxins in pigs and other livestock include:
- Enniatins and beauvericin are shown to be highly bioavailable in pigs, thus what is consumed is highly absorbed through the intestines. Enniatins are also shown to act as ionophores.
- Moniliformin is shown to cause heart damage in many species. It can also lead to poor vaccination.
- Alternariol has estrogenic properties and thus may impact reproductive performance of sows. It is also shown to have synergistic properties with zearalenone.
- Phomopsin A is found on lupin material (seeds, fodder, etc.). This is unlikely to be used in the U.S., but in Australia, New Zealand and Europe as there is more use of these materials and thus more risk. This mycotoxin has been shown to cause kidney and liver damage in pigs. In other animals where there is more research, such as sheep, it is shown that this mycotoxin causes severe liver damage, jaundice, staggering gate, anorexia and a high likelihood of death.