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Toxins (Basel). 2011 Jun;3(6):566-90. doi: 10.3390/toxins3060566. Epub 2011 Jun 14.

Aflatoxin B(1) in affecting broiler's performance, immunity, and gastrointestinal tract: a review of history and contemporary issues.

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  • 1Institute of Animal Nutrition, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, A-1210 Vienna, Austria.


Aflatoxin B(1) is a common contaminant of poultry feeds in tropical and subtropical climates. Research during the last five decades has well established the negative effects of the mycotoxin on health of poultry. However, the last ten years of relevant data have accentuated the potential of low levels of aflatoxin B(1) to deteriorate broiler performance. In this regard, any attempt to establish a dose-effect relationship between aflatoxin B(1) level and broiler performance is also complicated due to differences in types of broilers and length of exposure to the mycotoxin in different studies. Contrary to the prevalent notion regarding literature saturation with respect to aflatoxicosis of chicken, many areas of aflatoxicosis still need to be explored. Literature regarding effects of the mycotoxin on the gastrointestinal tract in this regard is particular scanty and non-conclusive. In addition to these issues, the metabolism of aflatoxin B(1) and recently proposed hypotheses regarding biphasic effects of the mycotoxin in broilers are briefly discussed.


aflatoxin; broiler; chicken; hormesis

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