Wanda M. Haschek, Kenneth A. Voss

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Many species of fungi colonize food crops such as rice, corn, wheat, barley, oats, peanuts, cottonseed, and soybeans which are the basic ingredients of many human and animal foods, including livestock and companion and laboratory animal diets. Under certain conditions, fungi produce mycotoxins, secondary fungal metabolites, which cause biochemical, physiologic, and/or pathologic changes in other species. Mycotoxicoses, syndromes resulting from poisoning by mycotoxins, occur worldwide and have been recognized for centuries. The mycotoxins of most concern are aflatoxins, fumonisins, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, trichothecenes such as deoxynivalenol (DON) and T-2 toxin, and ergot alkaloids. The main route of exposure is ingestion via the diet, so mycotoxins are a food safety concern. While severe life-threatening toxicoses are uncommon in humans in developed countries, exposure to the carcinogenic mycotoxin aflatoxin B1 is a major cause of liver disease, including cancer, in Africa and China. In addition, the potential for subclinical disease due to low-level chronic exposure causes significant agricultural losses due to export restrictions on grains and production losses in livestock. Outbreaks of mycotoxicoses in livestock and companion animals occur periodically.

Mycotoxins continue to attract worldwide attention because of their impacts on human health and agricultural losses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHaschek and Rousseaux's Handbook of Toxicologic Pathology, Third Edition
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-3
Number of pages72
ISBN (Electronic)9780124157590
ISBN (Print)9780124157651
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • HT-2 toxin
  • T-2 toxin
  • aflatoxin B
  • aflatoxins
  • deoxynivalenol (DON)
  • diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)
  • ergot alkaloids
  • fescue toxicosis
  • fumonisin B
  • fumonisins
  • macrocyclic trichothecenes
  • mycotoxins
  • ochratoxin A
  • satratoxin-G
  • trichothecenes
  • zearalenone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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