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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Toxicology and Toxinology of Mycotoxins in Foods

Location: Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research

Title: Mycotoxins

Authors
item Haschek, Wanda -
item Voss, Kenneth

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: December 18, 2012
Publication Date: May 25, 2013
Citation: Haschek, W.M., Voss, K.A., 2013. Mycotoxins. In: Haschek, W.M., Rousseaux, C.G., Wallig, M.A. (Eds.), Haschek and Rousseaux's Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology. Elsevier Inc., Academic Press. p. 1187-1258.

Technical Abstract: Many species of fungi colonize food crops such as rice, corn, wheat, barley, oats, peanuts, cottonseed, and soybeans which are the basic ingredients of many human and animal foods, including livestock, and companion and laboratory animal diets. Under certain conditions, fungi produce mycotoxins, secondary fungal metabolites, which cause biochemical, physiologic, and/or pathologic changes in other species. Mycotoxicoses, or syndromes resulting from poisoning by mycotoxins, occur worldwide and have been recognized for centuries. The mycotoxins of most concern are aflatoxins, fumonisins, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, trichothecenes such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and T-2 toxin, and ergot alkaloids. The main route of exposure is ingestion via the diet, so mycotoxins are a food safety concern. While severe life threatening toxicoses are uncommon in humans in developed countries, exposure to the carcinogenic mycotoxin aflatoxin B1 is a major cause of liver disease. In addition, the potential for subclinical disease due to low-level chronic exposure causes significant agricultural losses due to export restrictions on grains and production losses in livestock. Outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in livestock and companion animals occur periodically. Mycotoxins continue to attract worldwide attention because of their impacts on human health and agricultural losses. Exposure sources and diseases, with emphasis on toxicological and pathological effects, of the mycotoxins of most concern are presented as reference resource for toxicologic and veterinary toxicologists.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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