Meta-analytical study of productive and nutritional interactions of mycotoxins in growing pigs

Animal. 2012 Sep;6(9):1476-82. doi: 10.1017/S1751731111002278.


A meta-analysis was carried out in order to study the association of mycotoxins with performance and organ weights in growing pigs. A total of 85 articles published between 1968 and 2010 were used, totaling 1012 treatments and 13 196 animals. The meta-analysis followed three sequential analyses: graphical, correlation and variance-covariance. The presence of mycotoxins in diets was seen to reduce the feed intake by 18% and the weight gain in 21% compared with the control group. Deoxynivalenol and aflatoxins were the mycotoxins with the greatest impact on the feed intake and growth of pigs, reducing by 26% and 16% in the feed intake and by 26% and 22% in the weight gain. The mycotoxin concentration in diets and the animal age at challenge were the variables that more improved the coefficient of determination in equations for estimating the effect of mycotoxins on weight gain. The mycotoxin effect on growth proved to be greater in younger animals. In addition, the residual analysis showed that the greater part of the variation in weight gain was explained by the variation in feed intake (87%). The protein and methionine levels in diets could influence the feed intake and the weight gain in challenged animals. The weight gain in challenged pigs showed a positive correlation with the methionine level in diets (0.68). The mycotoxin effect on growth was greater in males compared with the effect on females. The reduction in weight gain was of 15% in the female group and 19% in the male group. Mycotoxin presence in pig diets has interfered in the relative weight of the liver, the kidneys and the heart. Mycotoxins have an influence on performance and organ weight in pigs. However, the magnitude of the effects varies with the type and concentration of mycotoxin, sex and the animal age, as well as nutritional factors.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animal Feed / microbiology*
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Female
  • Food Contamination*
  • Male
  • Mycotoxins / metabolism
  • Mycotoxins / toxicity*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Sex Factors
  • Swine / growth & development
  • Swine / microbiology
  • Swine / physiology*
  • Weight Gain / drug effects


  • Mycotoxins