Aflatoxins: The Need for Early Detection

Aflatoxins are toxic metabolites produced by a variety of molds commonly known as mycotoxin. These mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by several species of molds (commonly known as fungi) of the genera Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium.

Mycotoxins are carcinogenic in nature. Large doses of aflatoxins lead to acute poisoning (aflatoxicosis) that can be life-threatening, usually through damage to the liver. Aflatoxins have been implicated in human health disorders including hepatocellular carcinoma, aflatoxicosis, Reye’s syndrome, and chronic hepatitis. Animals are exposed to aflatoxins by consumption of feeds that are contaminated by aflatoxin producing fungal strains during growth, harvest or storage. Symptoms of toxicity in animals range from death to chronic diseases, reproductive interference, immune suppression, decreased milk, and egg