The survey results provide an insight on the incidence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in the primary components used for feed which include corn (maize), wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.
Figure 1. Global map of mycotoxin occurrence and risk in different regions. Squares indicate how many % of the analyzed samples of the region were contaminated with the respective mycotoxins Colors indicate different risk levels according to the legend below.
Recommended risk threshold of major mycotoxins in ppb
- Moderate risk = 0-25% of samples above risk threshold
- High risk = 26-50% of samples above risk threshold
- Severe risk = 51-75% of samples above risk threshold
- Extreme risk = 76-100% of samples above risk threshold
Because of the powerful sensitivity of state-of-the-art detection tools, it is no longer sufficient to talk about the mere presence of mycotoxins; concentration levels must be considered. Consequently, the latest results feature a mycotoxin risk map based upon both the presence of mycotoxins and their potential harm to livestock depending on concentration levels associated with known health risks.
Figure 1 shows mycotoxin occurrence data for each region as a percentage of all samples tested. The overall risk level for a particular region (indicated by color according to legend) is determined by the percentage of mycotoxins which exceed the risk threshold levels for livestock. The risk thresholds are based on worldwide practical experience in the field and in scientific trials that were conducted to reflect as closely as possible field situations and take into account the most sensitive species for each mycotoxin.
The average risk levels used as a basis do not preclude specific, severe instances of mycotoxin contamination in farm or fields locally, nor do they account for the negative impacts of multiple mycotoxin presence.
The mycotoxin risk map relies upon single mycotoxin occurrence which may understate the threat posed by mycotoxins to animals given their known synergistic effects (the presence of multiple mycotoxins compounds the potential harm) and subclinical effects (even low levels of mycotoxin contamination can impair animal health and performance).
North America and East Asia faces the most severe threat of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock. Both regions are suffering an extreme risk, as more than 75% of all tested samples showed a contamination level above the risk threshold levels. Table 1 provides an overview on the number of samples tested, occurrence, average contamination levels and maximum contamination values. Fumonisins and deoxynivalenol are the top threats in all.
Table 1. Detailed results of mycotoxin occurrence by region
Source: 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey