Impact of mycotoxins in swine

Impact of mycotoxins in swine

Many factors are involved in finding a complete solution to avoid the negative consequences of mycotoxins on a swine herd. Quality control, data management and zootechnical expertise are key.

Aflatoxins, ochratoxins, fumonisins, zearalenones and trichothecenes (DON, T2, H-T2, etc.) are the five main identified mycotoxins families that cause many zootechnical issues with or without any clinical effects. Wisium globally studies mycotoxin contamination thanks to its worldwide analysis database. The global trend observed, during the last years, is an increase in contamination levels in a multi-contamination context. To expand further, the company has invested years-worth of research and development (R&D) and data management in collaboration with its 12 affiliates worldwide and 11 R&D centres in order to consolidate data and precisely advise their customers on the mycotoxins contamination risks.


Swine complete feed was mainly contaminated by three mycotoxins families: trichothecens (mainly deoxynivalenol – DON), fumonisins and zearalenones. DON mycotoxins are the main identified concern, present in 100% of the samples, see Table 1.

DON contamination in swine is associated with digestive troubles including feed refusal, vomiting and lesions of the gastrointestinal tract, and with zootechnical problems such as a proven decrease of average daily gain. Alteration of immune response has also been observed. Average daily gain can be downgraded by Fumonisin B1, and the consumption of this mycotoxin by gestating sows has resulted in considerable damage to foetuses in utero. Zearalenone is also well known for its impact on reproduction parameters, especially in sows. Growing pigs can suffer from sexual development disease too, and boar semen can be downgraded. The presence of two or more different mycotoxins in a sample does not mean that their effects will be just additional. Synergies can be developed increasing the negative effect on the animal. Scientific literature and feedback from the field have highlighted a regular association of DON and zearalenone. This association can lead to decreases in average daily gain and feed consumption, as well as to an important decrease in immune response.

Complete solution against mycotoxins

To avoid the negative impacts of mycotoxins on the performances, investigation starts with raw materials and ends with the animal.

  • The first key success factor of the mycotoxins analysis is to sample the right raw material at the right time to have a comprehensive understanding of the global contamination, through a precise and specific quality control plan. This process implementation requires specific knowledge taking into account the reality of each feed plant.
  • The second is the sampling method in order to collect representative samples for a...

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