Aflatoxin in Commercial Poultry Feeds and Clinico-Pathological Manifestation of Aflaxoxicosis in Poultry in Southwest, Nigeria

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Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association


Aflatoxin remains the most studied mycotoxin with aflatoxin B1 making up 66 to 82% of total aflatoxin found in feed. In poultry, it can cause high production losses and vaccine failure resulting from its hepatocarcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic and immunosuppressive effects. This study aimed to determine the level of aflatoxin in commercial feed and feed ingredients (FFIs) use in poultry production in Southwest Nigeria. The study also tends to describe the clinico-pathological presentations of birds fed with aflatoxin-contaminated feed. A total of 142 commercial FFI (commercial feed, maize, cassava, wheat offal, soya cake etc) were collected randomly from poultry farms and feed mills in Southwest Nigeria. Total aflatoxin levels in FFI were measured using competitive ELISA. The study showed that 34 (23.9%), 24 (16.9%) and 67 (47.2%) of FFI had 21-60 µg/g, 61-100 µg/g and ≥ 101 µg/g of total aflatoxin levels respectively. These levels are above the maximum permissible limit (20 µg/g) as recommended by United State Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Most of the clinico-pathological findings such as decrease in egg production, friable liver, gastrointestinal mucosal erosion and fistulations were consistent with published reports on aflatoxicosis. History revealed that feed millers engaged in malpractices such as mixing of feed ingredients from different sources etc. The socioeconomic implications of aflatoxin in FFI are enormous, thus measures to reduce fungi contamination at every stage of production should be a collective effort. Our study showed that out of 10 FFIs, approximately 9 had >20 µg/g total aflatoxin. Therefore, studies aimed at prevention of fungal growth and mycotoxin production in FFI as well as mycotoxin absorption through the gastrointestinal wall should be strongly facilitated. Malpractices among feed millers should be abolished by concerned government agencies



Mycotoxin, Aflatoxin, Aflatoxicosis, Feed, Ingredients, ELISA