Mycotoxin-related threats to livestock production are severe or high in 80 percent of regions worldwide, according to the latest Biomin Mycotoxin Survey.

Those areas registered three or more major mycotoxins at concentration levels known to cause harm in animals. The survey results provide insights on the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed.

The annual Biomin Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools on more than 6,000 samples taken from 64 countries. Twenty-six thousand analyses were conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production.

Survey findings

Livestock production in North America and Southern Europe faces severe threat from mycotoxin contamination.

South America, Asia, and the rest of Europe all face high threat from mycotoxins. 

Globally, deoxynivalenol poses the most frequent threat to livestock though levels of fumonisins and zearalenone also present a cause for concern.

Mycotoxin contamination concentrations are up from last year.

“Clearly, mycotoxin contamination will be a greater concern for producers in most countries compared to last year,” said Ursula Hofstetter, director competence center mycotoxins at Biomin.

Compared with the previous year, the number of samples positive for aflatoxins decreased from 30 percent in 2013 to 22 percent in 2014, though the average concentration nearly doubled from 33 ppb to 64 ppb. The frequency of the other five mycotoxins rose compared with 2013, while the average concentrations of zearalenone and deoxynivalenol nearly doubled, to 221 ppb and 1,394 ppb, respectively.

Multiple mycotoxin analysis

For the first time, the survey includes results of multiple mycotoxin analysis of more than 380 mycotoxins and fungal metabolites, Spectrum 380, using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) in a single analysis step. Spectrum 380 analysis reveals that a typical agricultural commodity contains on average 30 different mycotoxin metabolites.