Toxins 2013, 5(5), 912-925; doi:10.3390/toxins5050912
Review

The Toxicological Impacts of the Fusarium Mycotoxin, Deoxynivalenol, in Poultry Flocks with Special Reference to Immunotoxicity

1 Clinic for Avian, Reptile and Fish Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinärplatz 1, Vienna A-1210, Austria 2 Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinärplatz 1, Vienna A-1210, Austria 3 Department of Animal hygiene, Behavior and Management, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, South Valley University, Qena 83523, Egypt 4 Institute of Animal Nutrition, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str, 49, Berlin D-14195, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2013; in revised form: 19 April 2013 / Accepted: 19 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
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Abstract: Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a common Fusarium toxin in poultry feed. Chickens are more resistant to the adverse impacts of deoxynivalenol (DON) compared to other species. In general, the acute form of DON mycotoxicosis rarely occurs in poultry flocks under normal conditions. However, if diets contain low levels of DON (less than 5 mg DON/kg diet), lower productivity, impaired immunity and higher susceptibility to infectious diseases can occur. The molecular mechanism of action of DON has not been completely understood. A significant influence of DON in chickens is the impairment of immunological functions. It was known that low doses of DON elevated the serum IgA levels and affected both cell-mediated and humoral immunity in animals. DON is shown to suppress the antibody response to infectious bronchitis vaccine (IBV) and to Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in broilers (10 mg DON/kg feed) and laying hens (3.5 to 14 mg of DON/kg feed), respectively. Moreover, DON (10 mg DON/kg feed) decreased tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) in the plasma of broilers. DON can severely affect the immune system and, due to its negative impact on performance and productivity, can eventually result in high economic losses to poultry producers. The present review highlights the impacts of DON intoxication on cell mediated immunity, humoral immunity, gut immunity, immune organs and pro-inflammatory cytokines in chickens.
Keywords: deoxynivalenol; Fusarium mycotoxin; immune responses; gut immunity; cytokines; poultry

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MDPI and ACS Style

Awad, W.; Ghareeb, K.; Böhm, J.; Zentek, J. The Toxicological Impacts of the Fusarium Mycotoxin, Deoxynivalenol, in Poultry Flocks with Special Reference to Immunotoxicity. Toxins 2013, 5, 912-925.

AMA Style

Awad W, Ghareeb K, Böhm J, Zentek J. The Toxicological Impacts of the Fusarium Mycotoxin, Deoxynivalenol, in Poultry Flocks with Special Reference to Immunotoxicity. Toxins. 2013; 5(5):912-925.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Awad, Wageha; Ghareeb, Khaled; Böhm, Josef; Zentek, Jürgen. 2013. "The Toxicological Impacts of the Fusarium Mycotoxin, Deoxynivalenol, in Poultry Flocks with Special Reference to Immunotoxicity." Toxins 5, no. 5: 912-925.

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