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Mycotoxicoses in Domestic Animals

Mycotoxicoses in Domestic Animals


Toxins (When Known)

Fungi or Molds

Regions Where Reported

Contaminated Toxic Foodstuff

Animals Affected

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



Diplodia zeae

South Africa

Moldy corn (maize)

Cattle, sheep

Nervous system disorders, cold and insensitive limbs. Recovery usual on removal of source.


Ergot alkaloids

Claviceps purpurea


Seed heads of many grasses, grains

Cattle, horses, pigs, poultry

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

Facial eczema (Pithomycotoxicosis)


Pithomyces chartarum


Toxic spores on pasture litter

Sheep, cattle, farmed deer

Fescue foot


Neotyphodium coenophialum

USA, Australia, New Zealand, Italy

Tall fescue grass (Lolium arundinacea)

Cattle, horses

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 .


Fumonisin B1

Fusarium verticilloides

Egypt, USA, South Africa, Greece

Moldy corn (maize)

Horses, other Equidae, pigs

Mycotoxic lupinosis (as distinct from alkaloid poisoning)


Phomopsis leptostromiformis


Moldy seed, pods, stubble, and haulm of several Lupinus spp affected by Phomopsis stem blight

Sheep, occasionally cattle, horses, pigs

Myrotheciotoxicosis, dendrodochiotoxicosis

Macrocyclic trichothecenes (verrucarins, roridins, etc)

Myrothecium verrucaria, M roridum

Southeast Europe, former USSR

Moldy rye stubble, straw

Sheep, cattle, horses

Macrocyclic trichothecenes (baccharinoids)

M verrucaria


Plants of Baccharis spp that contain the toxins

Cattle, other herbivores


Ochratoxin, also citrinin

Aspergillus ochraceus and others, Penicillium viridicatum, P citrinum


Moldy barley, corn (maize), wheat

Pigs, poultry

Perirenal edema, enlarged pale kidneys with cortical cysts, and tubular degeneration and fibrosis; immunosuppression, polyuria and polydipsia.

Penicillium-associated tremorgens

Penitrem A

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.


P roqueforti

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

Tremors, incoordination, collapse, convulsive spasms. Also see Annual Ryegrass Toxicosis Annual Ryegrass Toxicosis .

Poultry hemorrhagic syndrome

Probably aflatoxins and rubratoxins

Probably Aspergillus flavus, A clavatus, Penicillium purpurogenum, Alternaria sp


Moldy grain and meal

Growing chickens

Depression, anorexia, no weight gain, widespread internal hemorrhages, sometimes aplastic anemia, death. See Mycotoxicoses in Poultry Mycotoxicoses in Poultry .

Pulmonary edema, emphysema


Fusarium solani


Moldy sweet potatoes


Acute pulmonary edema, leading to interstitial pneumonia and emphysema.

Porcine pulmonary edema

Fumonisin B1 and Fumonisin B2

Fusarium verticilloides

USA, South Africa



Acute interlobular pulmonary edema and hydrothorax cause anoxia and cyanosis. Survivors may develop icterus and chronic hepatotoxicosis.

Slobbers syndrome

Slaframine (and swainsonine)

Rhizoctonia leguminicola


Black patch disease, legumes (notably red clover) eaten as forage or hay

Sheep, cattle, horses


Macrocyclic trichothecenes (satratoxin, roridin, verrucarin)

Stachybotrys atra (S alternans)

Former USSR, southeast Europe

Moldy roughage, other contaminated feed

Horses, cattle, sheep, pigs

Sweet clover poisoning


Penicillium spp, Mucor spp, Aspergillus spp

North America

Sweet clover (Melilotus spp)

Cattle, horses, sheep

Vitamin K antagonism with coagulopathy and hemorrhage. Also see Sweet Clover Poisoning Sweet Clover Poisoning .

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.