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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Ochratoxin A Exposure in Ornamental and Self-Consumption Backyard Chickens

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Via Tolara di Sopra 50, 40064 Ozzano dell’Emilia (Bologna), Italy
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Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/vetsci7010018
Received: 6 December 2019 / Revised: 14 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Italian Society of the Veterinary Sciences SISVet 2019)
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin that may be present in various food and feed of plant and animal origin, including chicken meat. In Italy, backyard poultry farming is rather widespread. Animals are raised for meat, eggs and for ornamental purpose, and they are often fed with home-made diets not subject to official controls. The purpose of this study was to evaluate exposure of ornamental and backyard chickens to OTA using biliary ochratoxin A as a biomarker. Therefore, bile samples, in addition to kidney, liver and muscle, were collected from 102 chickens reared in 16 farms located in 6 Italian regions. High-performance liquid chromatography method and fluorimetric detection (HPLC-FLD) analysis were carried out firstly on bile from all animals, and OTA was detected in 12 chickens (concentration range 3.83–170.42 µg/L). Subsequently, the kidneys of these chickens were also analysed, and the mycotoxin was not detected. The analytical detection limits (LODs) of OTA in bile and kidney were 2.1 µg/L and 0.1 µg/kg, respectively. In conclusion, these animals were exposed to OTA but their meat can be considered safe, given that this mycotoxin, if present, concentrates highest in kidneys. Biliary ochratoxin A confirms its use as a valid biomarker to assess exposure of poultry to OTA.
Keywords: backyard chickens; bile; food safety; HPLC-FLD; ochratoxin A backyard chickens; bile; food safety; HPLC-FLD; ochratoxin A
MDPI and ACS Style

Guerrini, A.; Altafini, A.; Roncada, P. Assessment of Ochratoxin A Exposure in Ornamental and Self-Consumption Backyard Chickens. Vet. Sci. 2020, 7, 18.

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