Research – Animal Health – Mycotoxin – Beauvericin a Fusarium Mycotoxin

All About Feed

Beauvericin is a Fusarium mycotoxin known for its antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties, but it also causes oxidative stress and cell death.

Although these biological activities are mainly interesting for drug development, chronic animal exposure to such a chemical via feed will certainly influence performance and health status. Even though this mycotoxin is still ‘emerging’, its presence in feed materials has been known for many years.

Beauvericin (BEA) is commonly found as a co-contaminant in grains where other Fusarium mycotoxins such as Deoxynivalenol (DON) and Zearalenone (ZEA) are present. From the feedstuffs we evaluate at Schothorst Feed Research (SFR), BEA is often detected in corn and soy hulls at levels varying from 10 to 500 µg/kg. However, much higher contamination levels have been reported by others. As was published by All About Feed in 2010, a study performed in South Korea showed that 27% of feed ingredients were then contaminated with BEA at levels up to 1.8 mg/kg (almost 4 times higher than our findings). These levels can be extremely high, reaching circa 500 mg/kg in corn as was reported by Logrieco and others in the 1990s. Although these are extreme levels and they only occur occasionally, the constant presence of this mycotoxin is feedstuffs should be of concern to nutritionists and veterinarians.

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