The mycotoxin survey results provide an insight on the incidence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in the primary components used for feed which include corn (maize), wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others. The survey also reveals that fumonisins and deoxynivalenol are the top threats in all.
Recommended risk threshold of major mycotoxins in ppb
Afla ZEN DON T-2 FUM OTA
2 50 150 50 500 10
Because of the powerful sensitivity of state-of-the-art detection tools, it is no longer sufficient to talk about the mere presence of mycotoxins; concentration levels must be considered. Consequently, the latest results feature a mycotoxin risk map based upon both the presence of mycotoxins and their potential harm to livestock depending on concentration levels associated with known health risks.
The average risk levels used as a basis do not preclude specific, severe instances of mycotoxin contamination in farm or fields locally, nor do they account for the negative impacts of multiple mycotoxin presence.
The mycotoxin risk map relies upon single mycotoxin occurrence which may understate the threat posed by mycotoxins to animals given their known synergistic effects (the presence of multiple mycotoxins compounds the potential harm) and subclinical effects (even low levels of mycotoxin contamination can impair animal health and performance).
North America and East Asia faces the most severe threat of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock. Both regions are suffering an extreme risk, as more than 75% of all tested samples showed a contamination level above the risk threshold levels.
Europe ranked as a severe risk region, with more than half of the samples tested above the risk threshold levels. Samples from Europe showed the highest incidence of DON at 65% and an average of 555 ppb The highest European level of DON was detected in an Spanish corn silage sample at 28470 ppb. Second most occurring mycotoxin was FUM, present in 51% of the samples. The highest FUM level in Europe was observed in a Spanish corn sample at 15554 ppb. Samples from Europe showed again the highest incidence of T-2 toxin, close to double compared to past years, at 33%. The highest level of T-2 toxin found worldwide (978 ppb), was detected in a corn sample from Russia. ZEN occurred in 44% of the samples, with the highest single level from Europe observed in an Austrian corn sample (6082 ppb).
The highest occurring mycotoxin in Asian region was FUM, detected in 85% of the samples at an average concentration of 1354 ppb. The highest occurrence of FUM in Asia was detected in a Chinese corn sample (169500 ppb).DON prevalence and average concentration in Asia were 77% and 735 ppb, respectively. ZEN was the third highest occurring mycotoxin in Asian samples, detected in 49% of tested samples at an average concentration of 201 ppb. In Asia, the highest ZEN value was detected in a Chinese grass sample (8113 ppb). Afla was found in 38% of the samples at the highest average concentration worldwide (58 ppb). The highest worldwide value for aflatoxins was detected in a finished feed sample from Myanmar(10918 ppb).
North America faces an extreme risk for mycotoxin-related threats to livestock with more than 80% of tested samples above the risk threshold levels. The most frequently occurring mycotoxin is DON, detected in 75% of the samples at an average concentration of 955 ppb. The highest singly occurring DON concentration worldwide was detected in a North American corn sample (51374 ppb). Also the highest FUM value worldwide was detected in a finished feed sample from US (290517 ppb). FUM, ZEN, Afla and OTA were detected in 52%, 37%, 6% and 5% of samples respectively, at average levels of 2441, 213, 36 and 4 ppb respectively.
South America faces severe mycotoxin-related risks to livestock, having 71% of all mycotoxins tested above the risk threshold levels. Fumonisins were present in 75% of the samples at an average concentration of 2992 ppb. Prevalence of DON increased in comparison to the last years, with 82% of samples testing positive.
The Middle East registered severe mycotoxin-related risks to livestock with more than 60% of tested samples showing concentrations above risk threshold levels. Samples from the Middle East showed high occurrence of FUM, OTA, ZEN and DON, detected in 74%, 27%, 53% and 70% of samples respectively. With the exception of OTA and T-2 toxin, the average concentrations of these mycotoxins were all above the risk threshold.
Most common mycotoxin in African region was DON, detected in 68% of all tested samples. FUM occurred in 63% of all samples tested in Africa at an average concentration of 1148 ppb. 37% of samples contained ZEN at an average level of 118 ppb.
The analysis of the 18575 samples in this survey indicates that constant monitoring of mycotoxins is important. An effective mycotoxin risk management program is essential in order to protect animals from the negative impacts of mycotoxins on animals’ health and performance.