Climate change and mycotoxin prevalence

Climate change and mycotoxin prevalence

6 May 2014. Climate change and mycotoxin prevalence. 
By Paula Kovalsky, Product Manager Mycofix®, BIOMIN Holding GmbH., Austria.

The analysis of different commodities from various regions is essential to obtain a clearer understanding of the worldwide occurrence of these fungal toxins. Implementing an effective mycotoxin risk management program is the best way to protect animals from the effects that mycotoxins have on health and performance. (26/08/2014. Global state of mycotoxins)

It is assumed that the highest mycotoxin risks will be observed not only in countries with tropical climates but also in countries with temperate climates, such as parts of Europe and the United States of America, if temperature begins to rise and favors aflatoxin B1 (AfB1) production. For instance, during the hot and dry episodes in northern Italy in 2003, Aspergillus flavus was able to actively colonize the ripening maize, a key crop, by outcompeting the more common Fusarium species. This led to an uncommon increase in Afla B1 contamination in Europe.

The mycotoxin survey gives a clear picture of why these toxic substances are a matter of concern in agricultural commodities. Multi-mycotoxin occurrences continue to be a global threat and with changing climate conditions, shifts in mycotoxin patterns are bound to occur. Constant monitoring and continuous research on the prevention and mitigation of mycotoxin contamination are therefore necessary. The first step towards preventing the negative effects of these harmful substances is the implementation of good agricultural practices and proper storage conditions.

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