Meta-analytical study of productive and nutritional interactions of mycotoxins in broilers

Poult Sci. 2011 Sep;90(9):1934-40. doi: 10.3382/ps.2011-01470.


A meta-analysis was carried out to study the association of mycotoxins with performance, productive indices, and organ weights in broilers. Ninety-eight papers published between 1980 and 2009 were used, totaling 1,401 diets and 37,371 animals. Meta-analysis followed 3 sequential analyses: graphical, correlation, and variance-covariance. The mycotoxin presence in diets reduced (P < 0.05) feed intake by 12% and weight gain by 14% compared with control group. Ochratoxins and aflatoxins were the mycotoxins with the greatest effect on feed intake and bird growth, reducing (P < 0.05) feed ingestion by 17 and 11%, respectively, and weight gain by 20 and 11%, respectively. The mycotoxin concentration in diets and the animal age at challenge were the variables that more improved the coefficient of determination for equations to estimate mycotoxin effect on weight gain. The mycotoxin effect on growth proved to be greater in young poultry. The residual analysis revealed that 65% of the variation in weight gain was explained by feed intake. The variation in weight gain of challenged broilers in relation to nonchallenged broilers was also influenced by ingestion of nutrients such as protein and methionine. Mortality was 8.8 and 2.8 times greater (P < 0.05) in groups that received diets with deoxynivalenol and aflatoxins, respectively. Mycotoxins also increased (P < 0.05) the relative weight of liver by 15%, of kidneys by 11%, of lungs by 9%, and of gizzard by 3%. Mycotoxins influenced broiler performance, productive indices, and organ weights. However, the magnitude of the effects varied with type and concentration of mycotoxin, animal age, and nutritional factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animal Feed
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Chickens*
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Food Contamination
  • Mycotoxins / administration & dosage
  • Mycotoxins / toxicity*
  • Poultry Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects*


  • Mycotoxins