Deoxynivalenol, gut microbiota and immunotoxicity: A potential approach?

Food Chem Toxicol. 2018 Feb;112:342-354. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.01.013. Epub 2018 Jan 10.


Deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) is the most frequent mycotoxin in grains and grain products. DON contamination in fodder and food is a serious threat for health, since it impairs the immune and gastrointestinal systems of both human and animals. Gut microbiota seems to play a more and more important part in human and animals' health according to related researches. Previous studies implied some associations among gut microbiota, DON and immune system. For example, DON affects immune system as well as the composition and abundance of gut microbiota, and the latter influences immune system as well. In the present short review, we not only provide the available information about the toxic consequences of DON-induced immunotoxicity on different animals and cell lines and discuss its main possible molecule mechanisms, but also summarize research results concerning the role of gut microbiota in DON-induced immunotoxicity and gender differences, with the aim to find some potential therapeutic strategies to tackle DON-induced immunotoxicity.

Keywords: Deoxynivalenol; Gender differences; Gut microbiota; Immunotoxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / drug effects*
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestines / drug effects*
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Trichothecenes / toxicity*


  • Trichothecenes
  • deoxynivalenol