The aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic metabolites of Aspergillus spp (Aspergillus flavus, A parasiticus, and others) that affect poultry as well as other 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 . See .
Aflatoxicosis in poultry primarily affects the liver but can involve immunologic, digestive, and hematopoietic functions (see ). Aflatoxicosis adversely affects the following:
feed conversion efficiency
egg production and eggshell quality
male and female fertility
Susceptibility to aflatoxins varies; however, in general, ducklings, turkeys, and pheasants are susceptible, whereas chickens, quail, and guinea fowl are relatively resistant.
Aflatoxicosis causes the following:
general unthriftiness, with high morbidity and mortality rates possible
lesions in the liver, with reddening due to necrosis and congestion or yellowing due to lipid accumulation
hemorrhages in liver and other tissues
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic; however, tumor formation is rare with natural disease, probably because the animals do not live long enough for this to occur.