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Toxins 2015, 7(6), 2006-2023; doi:10.3390/toxins7062006

Ergot Alkaloids in Feed for Pekin Ducks: Toxic Effects, Metabolism and Carry Over into Edible Tissues

Institute of Animal Nutrition, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig, Germany
Academic Editor: Christopher L. Schardl
Received: 2 February 2015 / Revised: 12 May 2015 / Accepted: 13 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ergot Alkaloids: Chemistry, Biology and Toxicology)
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Abstract

Hardened sclerotia (ergots) of Claviceps purpurea contaminate cereal grains and contain toxic ergot alkaloids (EA). Information on EA toxicity in ducks is scarce. Therefore, the aim of the growth experiment (Day 0–49, n = 54/group) was to titrate the lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for total ergot alkaloids (TEA). A control diet was prepared without ergots, and the diets designated Ergot 1 to 4 contained 1, 10, 15 and 20 g ergot per kg diet, respectively, corresponding to TEA contents of 0.0, 0.6, 7.0, 11.4 and 16.4 mg/kg. Sensitivity of ducks to EA was most pronounced at the beginning of the experiment when feed intake decreased significantly by 9%, 28%, 41% and 47% in groups Ergot 1 to 4, respectively, compared to the control group. The experiment was terminated after two weeks for ducks exposed to Ergot 3 and 4 due to significant growth retardation. Ergot alkaloid residues in edible tissues were lower than 5 ng/g. Bile was tested positive for ergonovine (=ergometrine = ergobasine) with a mean concentration of 40 ng/g. Overall, the LOAEL amounted to 0.6 mg TA/kg diet suggesting that ducks are not protected by current European Union legislation (1 g ergot/kg unground cereal grains). View Full-Text
Keywords: ergot alkaloids; carry over; Pekin duck; feed intake; clinical chemistry ergot alkaloids; carry over; Pekin duck; feed intake; clinical chemistry
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Dänicke, S. Ergot Alkaloids in Feed for Pekin Ducks: Toxic Effects, Metabolism and Carry Over into Edible Tissues. Toxins 2015, 7, 2006-2023.

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