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Why are pigs sensitive to mycotoxins?

Why are pigs sensitive to mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are a threat well known to feed producers. They are toxic secondary metabolites produced by molds, particularly present on cereals. Among all livestock species, pigs are one of the most strongly impacted by the presence of mycotoxins in feed for two reasons:

  1. They consume large quantities of cereals, and
  2. they are particularly sensitive to mycotoxins.

Recent findings indicate the pig intestine, especially the gut barrier, and the animal’s immune response are two main targets for mycotoxins from feed. This means there is an increased risk for pathogen translocation from the gut lumen to the blood flow while systemic immunity is altered. Mycotoxin contamination can thus be linked to a higher risk of infectious diseases and decreased vaccine efficacy.

A variety of solutions, including administration of probiotics, are under investigation to tackle the effect of mycotoxins in pigs.

Published Oct 10, 2019