Biological effect of naturally occurring mycotoxins fed to poults reared to 21 days of age

Jesse L. Grimes, Matthew D. Koci, Charles R. Stark, Doug P. Smith, Prashant K. Nighot, Teena Middleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A trial was conducted to observe potential changes in turkey poults reared to 21 d by feeding diets with naturally occurring mycotoxins. Two sources of corn, one each with Aflatoxin (AFL) and Deoxynevalenol (DON), were obtained. Treatments (T) were: 1) clean corn (C), 2) AFL (A), 3) DON (D) and 4) 1/2A+1/2D (AD). A marker (celite, 1.5%) was added for 21 d AMEn determination. A basal ration with ingredients except corn was mixed. The basal and corn were mixed for T feeds. Feed was pelleted and crumbled. Male poults were placed into 24 pens in petersyme batteries (7 birds/pen; 6 pens/T). Feed consumption, by pen and BWwere determined by wk. At 21 d, birds were euthanized. Heart (H), spleen (S), gizzard (G), liver (L) and bursa of fabricious (B) were weighed and Breast Muscle (BM) collected for color analysis. Light microscopic analysis of H&E stained L, B and S were performed to assess histopathological changes. One bird per pen was injected IV with 7% SRBC on d 7 and 14. Serum Albumin (SA) and Antibody Production (AB) were determined at 11, 14, 18 and 21 d (1 bird/pen). Data were analyzed using GLM (p<0.05). The D feed had 1.7 ppm DON, A had 97 ppb AFL and AD had an even mixture. Poults fed D and AD gained less to 21 d than C or A (456, 454 v 486, 502±12 g). D fed birds had the lowest feed consumption versus C, A, or AD (648 v 691, 701, 677±16 g). Poults fed AD had the highest feed:gain versus C, A and D (1.50 v 1.42, 1.45, 1.44±0.02). The AMEn (kcal/kg) at 21 d was increased for D (2,894) fed poults while for A (2,696) fed poults it was reduced versus C (2,767; AD = 2,758±29). Relative (R) S weight of D (0.11) fed birds was reduced versus A (0.14) but not C or AD (0.12, 0.13±0.006 g/g). The RL weight of birds fed A (2.26) and AD (2.52) were reduced versus C (2.68±0.07g/g). The A fed birds had reduced SA (by OD). Mortality, RH, RB and RG weights, G score and BM colors were not affected. There were no differences in AB. The L of the A fed birds had hepatic parenchyma with diffuse degenerative changes. The hepatocytic nuclei were swollen and had condensed nucleoli. Some hepatic cords had hepatocyte necrosis. There was some sinusoidal congestion with dilatation/congestion of few central veins. These lesions were suggestive of aflatoxin toxicity. The effects of AFL and DON in this study were reflective of what has been reported in the literature. Feeding naturally occurring mycotoxins to poults can be used as a model to study interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-874
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Poultry Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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