Original Research

Some fungi, zearalenone and other mycotoxins in chicken rations, stock feedstuffs, lucerne and pasture grasses in the communal farming area of Rhenosterkop in South Africa

D. Naicker, G.J. Marais, H. Van den Berg, M.G. Masango
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 78, No 2 | a293 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v78i2.293 | © 2007 D. Naicker, G.J. Marais, H. Van den Berg, M.G. Masango | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 June 2007 | Published: 01 June 2007

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D. Naicker,
G.J. Marais,
H. Van den Berg,
M.G. Masango,

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Mycotoxins may be present in feeds without any visible signs of mould contamination. There is a need for rapid and accurate measurement of mycotoxins for purposes of continual monitoring and identification of high risk commodities. Samples from commercial chicken feed (maize kernels), cattle feed (lucerne, grass and hay) and milk were analysed for the presence of certain mycotoxins and cultured for fungi. Results of fungal profiles showed that most samples were contaminated by moulds belonging to the genera, Alternaria, Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, Mucor, Phoma and Rhizopus. All the chicken feed samples tested contained mycotoxins either below the recommended safe levels for poultry or below the detection limits of the ELISA tests. However, samples of grass contained levels of zearalenone greater than the allowable concentration for dairy and beef cattle (250 ppm), which may be linked to the presence of Fusarium scirpi identified in the fungal profiles. The levels of AFM1 were below the detection limits of the ELISA tests, which may be attributed to the low levels of aflatoxins found in the feed (grass) samples. The presence of the fungus in samples analysed is not evidence for the presence of mycotoxins.


Cattle; Chickens; Feed; Fusarium Scirpi; Pasture Grasses; Zearalenone


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