Mycotoxins are invisible hazards in the feed which is produced from fungi. Most of the maize and soyabeans used in the production of poultry feed all over the world contain high level of mycotoxins. .
Any mycotoxins present in feed are delivered straight to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of the birds, the organ most affected by mycotoxins. The GIT is the most important organ for converting feed into energy, and its ability to function properly is directly linked to poultry productivity. The GIT is the biggest immune organ in the body system.
Among the major mycotoxins, DON (deoxynivalenol), ZEN (zearalenone) and FUM (fumonisins) are often overlooked when considering their impact on poultry health and productivity since their clinical symptoms are not usually obvious or visible.
However, there have been a number of scientific and commercial trials that prove these Fusarium mycotoxins are closely related to some important poultry diseases.
Impact of Mycotoxin on Poultry
- Some mycotoxins are protein synthesis inhibitor in poultry gut and can interfere with the metabolism of high turn-over cells such as skin cells (epithelial cells), hepatic cells, immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells i.e DON and FUM .
- It can cause reduction in feed intake and wet droppings.
- It can reduce vaccine efficacy especially Fusarium. Several research results have shown that DON and FUM reduce antibody response to Newcastle Disease (ND) and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).
- Frequent intestinal disorders and disease outbreaks can also increase.
- Poor feed conversion ratio (FCR) and poor production performance.
Seventy percent of immune system is located in the gut, promoting a rapid mucosal inflammatory response, even when mycotoxins are present at low concentrations in feed. Tight junction proteins in the intestinal epithelium are also regulated by such cytokines. Loosened tight junctions can cause “leaky gut syndrome” resulting in pathogens and toxins entering the blood stream and moving to target organs.
As a result, the permeability of intestine is increased and the frequency of intestinal disorders and disease outbreaks can consequently increase as well.
In the poultry industry generally the use of toxin-binders is very common in feed. However, clay mineral binders are not an effective answer to all major mycotoxins.
Fusarium mycotoxins since their structures are not suitable for adsorbed by binders due to their unsuitable structures. The use of microbes and enzymes is the most effective because it provides reliable protection for birds against Fusarium mycotoxins by biodegrading mycotoxins into non-toxic metabolites.