Toxins (When Known)
Fungi or Molds
Regions Where Reported
Contaminated Toxic Foodstuff
Signs and Lesions
Aspergillus flavus, A parasiticus
Widespread (warmer climatic zones)
Moldy peanuts, soybeans, cottonseeds, rice, sorghum, corn (maize), other cereals
All poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep, dogs
Major effects in all species are slow growth and hepatotoxicosis. Also see Aflatoxicosis in Animals Aflatoxicosis in Animals Aflatoxicosis is a worldwide mycotoxicosis with production of potent hepatotoxins on animal feed both in the field and storage during hot temperatures (drought) and often occurs concurrent with... read more and see Mycotoxicoses Mycotoxicoses read more .
Moldy corn (maize)
Nervous system disorders, cold and insensitive limbs. Recovery usual on removal of source.
Seed heads of many grasses, grains
Cattle, horses, pigs, poultry
Peripheral gangrene, late gestation suppression of lactation initiation. See Ergotism in Animals Ergotism in Animals Ergotism in animals generally presents as lameness; necrosis of the tip of the tail, ears, and hoof tissue; and decay of the wattle, comb, beak, and feet in birds. Additional adverse effects... read more .
Paspalinine and paspalitrems, tremorgens
C paspali, C cinerea
Seed heads of paspalum grasses
Cattle, horses, sheep
Estrogenism and vulvovaginitis
Fusarium graminearum Perfect state: Gibberella zeae
Moldy corn (maize) and pelleted cereal feeds, standing corn, corn silage, other grains
Pigs, cattle, sheep, poultry
Vulvovaginitis in pigs, anestrus or pseudopregnancy in mature sows, early embryonic death of swine embryos, estrogenism in cattle and sheep, reduced egg production in poultry. Also see Mycotoxin-Associated Estrogenism and Vulvovaginitis in Animals Mycotoxin-Associated Estrogenism and Vulvovaginitis in Animals The estrogenic mycotoxin zearalenone can cause estrogenism in animals, manifested clinically as vulvovaginitis. Several Fusarium species, but particularly F graminearum, can produce zearalenone... read more .
Facial eczema (Pithomycotoxicosis)
Toxic spores on pasture litter
Sheep, cattle, farmed deer
USA, Australia, New Zealand, Italy
Tall fescue grass (Lolium arundinacea)
Lameness, weight loss, hyperthermia, heat intolerance, dry gangrene of extremities, agalactia, thickened fetal membranes. Also see Fescue Poisoning in Animals Fescue Poisoning in Animals Fescue lameness, which resembles ergot toxicosis, is believed to be caused by ergot alkaloids, especially ergovaline, produced by the endophyte fungus Neotyphodium coenophialum in tall fescue... read more .
Fusariotoxicosis, vomiting and feed refusal in pigs
Nonmacrocyclic trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol [DAS], many other trichothecenes)
Fusarium sporotrichioides, F culmorum, F graminearum, F nivale; other fungal species
Widespread (except for deoxynivalenol, more likely in temperate to colder climates)
Cereal crops, moldy roughage
Pigs, cattle, horses, poultry
Vomiting and feed refusal (deoxynivalenol), loss of appetite and milk production, diarrhea, staggers, skin irritation, immunosuppression; recovery (from T-2, DAS) on removal of contaminated feed. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene mycotoxins contain a large number of compounds classified as tetracyclic sesquiterpenoids with a 12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene core structure. The 12–13 epoxy ring structure is responsible... read more .
Egypt, USA, South Africa, Greece
Moldy corn (maize)
Horses, other Equidae, pigs
Depends on degree and specific site of brain lesion. Also see Fumonisin Toxicosis in Animals Fumonisin Toxicosis in Animals Fumonisins are responsible for two well-described diseases of livestock, equine leukoencephalomalacia and porcine pulmonary edema. Equine leukoencephalomalacia is a mycotoxic disease of the... read more .
Mycotoxic lupinosis (as distinct from alkaloid poisoning)
Moldy seed, pods, stubble, and haulm of several Lupinus spp affected by Phomopsis stem blight
Sheep, occasionally cattle, horses, pigs
Lassitude, inappetence, stupor, icterus, marked liver injury. Usually fatal. Also see Mycotoxic Lupinosis in Animals Mycotoxic Lupinosis in Animals Lupinosis is a liver disease or hepatotoxicosis caused by ingestion of lupine plants infected with Diaporthe toxica (previously identified as Phomopsis leptostromiformis). Lupinosis occurs primarily... read more .
Macrocyclic trichothecenes (verrucarins, roridins, etc)
Myrothecium verrucaria, M roridum
Southeast Europe, former USSR
Moldy rye stubble, straw
Sheep, cattle, horses
Acute—diarrhea, respiratory distress, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, immunosuppression, death. Chronic—ulceration of GI tract, unthriftiness, gradual recovery. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene mycotoxins contain a large number of compounds classified as tetracyclic sesquiterpenoids with a 12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene core structure. The 12–13 epoxy ring structure is responsible... read more .
Macrocyclic trichothecenes (baccharinoids)
Plants of Baccharis spp that contain the toxins
Cattle, other herbivores
Epithelial necrosis of GI tract. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene mycotoxins contain a large number of compounds classified as tetracyclic sesquiterpenoids with a 12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene core structure. The 12–13 epoxy ring structure is responsible... read more .
Ochratoxin, also citrinin
Aspergillus ochraceus and others, Penicillium viridicatum, P citrinum
Moldy barley, corn (maize), wheat
Perirenal edema, enlarged pale kidneys with cortical cysts, and tubular degeneration and fibrosis; immunosuppression, polyuria and polydipsia.
P crustosum, P cyclopium, P commune
Cereal grains, cheese, fruit, meats, nuts, refrigerated foods; compost
Cattle, dogs, horses, sheep
Neurotoxic signs, including continual tremors, seizures, hyperexcitability, ataxia. Vomiting and CNS signs in dogs.
As above, and in silage
Perennial ryegrass staggers
Lolium perenne,Neotyphodium lolii, an endophyte fungus confined to L perenne
Australia, New Zealand, Europe, USA
Endophyte-infected ryegrass pastures
Sheep, cattle, horses, deer
Poultry hemorrhagic syndrome
Probably aflatoxins and rubratoxins
Probably Aspergillus flavus, A clavatus, Penicillium purpurogenum, Alternaria sp
Moldy grain and meal
Pulmonary edema, emphysema
Moldy sweet potatoes
Acute pulmonary edema, leading to interstitial pneumonia and emphysema.
Porcine pulmonary edema
Fumonisin B1 and Fumonisin B2
USA, South Africa
Acute interlobular pulmonary edema and hydrothorax cause anoxia and cyanosis. Survivors may develop icterus and chronic hepatotoxicosis.
Slaframine (and swainsonine)
Black patch disease, legumes (notably red clover) eaten as forage or hay
Sheep, cattle, horses
Salivation, bloat, diarrhea, sometimes death. Recovery usual when removed from clover. Also see Slaframine Toxicosis in Animals Slaframine Toxicosis in Animals Trifolium pratense (red clover) may become infected with the fungus Slafractonia leguminicola (formerly Rhizoctonia leguminicola) (black patch disease), especially in wet, cool years. Rarely... read more .
Macrocyclic trichothecenes (satratoxin, roridin, verrucarin)
Stachybotrys atra (S alternans)
Former USSR, southeast Europe
Moldy roughage, other contaminated feed
Horses, cattle, sheep, pigs
Stomatitis and ulceration, anorexia, leukopenia, extensive hemorrhages in many organs, inflammation and necrosis in the gut, immunosuppression. Also see Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene Toxicosis in Animals Trichothecene mycotoxins contain a large number of compounds classified as tetracyclic sesquiterpenoids with a 12,13-epoxytrichothec-9-ene core structure. The 12–13 epoxy ring structure is responsible... read more .
Sweet clover poisoning
Penicillium spp, Mucor spp, Aspergillus spp
Sweet clover (Melilotus spp)
Cattle, horses, sheep
Tremorgen ataxia syndrome
Penitrems, verruculogen, paxilline, fumitremorgens, aflatrems, roquefortine
Penicillium crustosum, P puberulum, P verruculosum, P roqueforti, Aspergillus flavus, A fumigatus, A clavatus, and others
USA, South Africa, probably worldwide
Moldy feed; high-protein food products, even under refrigeration, eg, cream cheese, walnuts
All species, but dogs are quite susceptible
Tremors, polypnea, ataxia, collapse, convulsive spasms.