Mycotoxins are fungal secondary metabolites detected in many agricultural commodities and water-damaged indoor environments. Susceptibility to mucosal infectious diseases is closely associated with immune dysfunction caused by mycotoxin exposure in humans and other animals. Many mycotoxins suppress immune function by decreasing the proliferation of activated lymphocytes, impairing phagocytic function of macrophages, and suppressing cytokine production, but some induce hypersensitive responses in different dose regimes. The present review describes various mycotoxin responses to infectious pathogens that trigger mucosa-associated diseases in the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts of humans and other animals. In particular, it focuses on the effects of mycotoxin exposure on invasion, pathogen clearance, the production of cytokines and immunoglobulins, and the prognostic implications of interactions between infectious pathogens and mycotoxin exposure.
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