Occurrence and toxicity of deoxynivalenol

Trichothecene mycotoxins (Desjardins, 2006) are produced by several genera of fungi, with the most important naturally occurring ones being those produced by Fusarium spp. The trichothecenes of major concern are deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, and T-2 toxin. In Africa, most work on trichothecenes has been with deoxynivalenol. Deoxynivalenol is produced by several species of Fusarium including Fusarium graminearum. This toxin has been reported in samples from Kenya, South Africa and Zambia (Table 3).

Deoxynivalenol is a potent antifeedant and induces vomiting in pigs at very low concentrations; it also is immunosuppressive (Moss, 2000). General signs of trichothecene tox-icity in experimental animals include weight loss, decreased feed conversion, feed refusal,

Table 3. Occurrence of deoxynivalenol in cereals and cereal-based food commodities reported in several countries from Eastern and Southern Africa.



Conc. Range (ng/g)



Maize meal

Not Detected

Doko et al., 1996

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