Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Aspergillus flavus

Synonym(s): A. flavus

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom:Fungi.
  • Division:Amastigomycota.
  • Order:Eurotiales.
  • Genus:Aspergillus.
  • Species:flavus.

Etymology

  • L:asperge- to sprinkle; L:flavus- yellow.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • High humidity and high temperatures during the growth, harvest, transport and storage favor the growth ofA. flavusand toxin production.

Transmission

  • Ingestion of mycotoxin in food.

Pathological effects

  • About half the strains ofA. flavusare toxigenic under optimal environmental conditions.
  • Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites which induce a range of clinical effects.
  • Aflatoxins (produced byAspergillusspp) are hepatotoxic, teratogenic, mutagenic and carcinogenic.
  • Clinical effects: drop in milk yield, immunosuppression, nervous signs and decreased food conversion.

Other Host Effects

  • Very occasionally acts as an opportunistic pathogen; more often involved in aflatoxicosis   Mycotoxicosis  .

Control

Other countermeasures

  • Prevention of contamination at all stages of food production, eg by rapid drying of harvested crops and by the use of preservatives.
  • Decontamination strategies include physical removal, thermal inactivation, irradiation, microbial degradation and chemical treatment.
  • Legislation exists in many countries to regulate maximum acceptable levels of aflatoxins in human and animal food.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Meireles M C et al (1994) Mycoflora of the toxic feeds associated with equine leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM) outbreaks in Brazil. Mycopathologica 127 (3), 183-188 PubMed.
  • Vesonder R et al (1991) Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxins B1, B2, and M1 in corn associated with equine death. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 20 (1), 151-153 PubMed.

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