Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Aspergillus flavus

Synonym(s): A. flavus

Contributor(s): Vetstream Ltd




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


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

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Clinical Effects



  • High humidity and high temperatures during growth, harvest, transport and storage favor the growth of A. flavus and toxin production.


  • Ingestion of mycotoxin in food.

Pathological effects

  • About half the strains of A. flavus are toxigenic under optimal environmental conditions.
  • Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites which induce a range of clinical effects.
  • Aflatoxins (produced by Aspergillus spp) 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.


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.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Barton J T, Daft B M, Read D H et al (1992) Tracheal aspergillosis in 6 1/2-week-old chickens caused by Aspergillus flavus. Avian Dis 36 (4), 1081-1085 PubMed.
  • Vesonder R, Haliburton J, Stubblefield R et al (1991) Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxins B1, B2 and M1 in corn associated with equine death. Arch Environ Conam Toxicol 20 (1), 151-153 PubMed.
  • Dalvi R R, Ademoyero A A (1984) Toxic effects of aflatoxin B1 in chickens given feed contaminated with Aspergillus flavus and reduction of the toxicity by activated charcoal and some chemical agents. Avian Dis 28 (1), 61-69 PubMed.