Clint Lichty from South West Ontario Veterinary Services, Measuring the Effects of Fumonisin Mycotoxin on Performance

The mycotoxin Fumonisin is an emerging issue in animal feed production. Fumonisin can reduce growth performance and is also capable of disrupting the metabolism of sphingolipids sphinganine (SA) to sphingosine (SO). Sphingolipids are commonly believed to protect the cell surface against harmful environmental factors by forming a mechanically stable and chemically resistant outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. These Kansas State researchers wanted to determine the effect of feeding fumonisin-contaminated corn on growth performance and sphinganine (SA) to sphingosine (SO) ratios of 9 to 28 kg pigs. A total of 350 pigs, were used with 5 pigs/pen and 14 pens/treatment. Dietary treatments contained fumonisin-contaminated corn (50 mg/kg of fumonisin B1 + B2) blended with low fumonisin corn (10 mg/kg of fumonisin B1 + B2) to provide dietary fumonisin concentrations of 7.2, 14.7, 21.9, 32.7, and 35.1 mg/kg.

The researchers found the following:

  • Increasing fumonisin concentration decreased (linear, p < 0.001) average daily gain, average daily feed intake (linear, p = 0.055), and gain:feed ratio (linear, p = 0.016).
  • The greatest reduction in performance was in pigs fed with 32.7 and 35.1 mg/kg of fumonisin (B1 + B2) although the effect was present at lower levels.
  • Increasing fumonisin concentration increased the serum SA:SO ratio (linear, p < 0.001) on day 14 and 28.

Take Home Messages:

  • Increasing concentrations of fumonisin in the feed linearly decreased average daily gain and gain:feed ratio with the most dramatic effect achieved when fumonisin levels were in excess of 32.7 mg/kg.

Submitted by Dr. Clint Lichty

Ref:  Zhong-Xing Rao , Mike D Tokach , Jason C Woodworth , Joel M DeRouchey , Robert D Goodband Hilda I Calderón , Steve S Dritz    Effects of Fumonisin-Contaminated Corn on Growth Performance of 9 to 28 kg Nursery Pigs Toxins (Basel) . 2020 Sep 18;12(9):E604. doi: 10.3390/toxins1209060