Mycotoxins are highly diverse secondary metabolites produced in nature by a wide variety of fungus which causes food contamination, resulting in mycotoxicosis in animals and humans. In particular, trichothecenes mycotoxin produced by genus fusarium is agriculturally more important worldwide due to the potential health hazards they pose. It is mainly metabolized and eliminated after ingestion, yielding more than 20 metabolites with the hydroxy trichothecenes-2 toxin being the major metabolite. Trichothecene is hazardously intoxicating due to their additional potential to be topically absorbed, and their metabolites affect the gastrointestinal tract, skin, kidney, liver, and immune and hematopoietic progenitor cellular systems. Sensitivity to this type of toxin varying from dairy cattle to pigs, with the most sensitive endpoints being neural, reproductive, immunological and hematological effects. The mechanism of action mainly consists of the inhibition of protein synthesis and oxidative damage to cells followed by the disruption of nucleic acid synthesis and ensuing apoptosis. In this review, the possible hazards, historical significance, toxicokinetics, and the genotoxic and cytotoxic effects along with regulatory guidelines and recommendations pertaining to the trichothecene mycotoxin are discussed. Furthermore, various techniques utilized for toxin determination, pathophysiology, prophylaxis and treatment using herbal antioxidant compounds and regulatory guidelines and recommendations are reviewed. The prospects of the trichothecene as potential hazardous agents, decontamination strategies and future perspectives along with plausible therapeutic uses are comprehensively described.
Mycotoxins are a group of chemically assorted compounds originating from the secondary metabolism of molds (filamentous fungi) that causes many diseases. The far, more than 300 mycotoxins have been found to induce toxicological effects in mammals only . It is estimated that approximately 25% of the world’s agricultural commodities are contaminated to some extend with mycotoxins [2, 3]. Such studies revealing necessarily high occurrences and concentrations of mycotoxins suggest that mycotoxins are a constant concern. The synthesis of mycotoxins very closely resembles those processes that utilize primary metabolic pathways, such as amino acid and fatty acid metabolism. Toxin production and the degree of contamination of feed and food commodities are regulated by environmental factors such as the substrate composition and the texture, temperature and humidity. The genera of mycotoxin-producing fungi are Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, Alternaria, Phomopsis, Emericella, Cephalosporium, Myrothecium, Trichoderma, Trichothecium, Neopetromyces, Byssochlamys, Neotyphodium and Claviceps. The adverse effect of fungal products have instigated mass poisoning in both man and farm animals in many countries . The main mycotoxins, the fungi producing them, and associated commodities are presented in Table Table1.1. T-2 toxins are agriculturally among the most important mycotoxins that present a potential hazard to health worldwide. These compounds are derivatives of a ring system referred to as trichothecenes . T-2 toxins belong to a large family of chemically related toxins produced by fungi in taxonomical genera such as Fusarium, Myrothecium and Stachybotrys. There are more than 20 naturally occurring compounds produced by the Fusarium species with similar structures, including diacetoxyscirpenol, nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, the T-2 toxins, HT-2 toxin and fusaron X . In this review, we discuss the toxic effects of T-2 toxins on agriculture, livestock and humans and also simultaneously report safety information regarding survival against the harmfulness of these toxins (Figure (Figure11).
About the Author
Emily Rachal is co-owner of Texas Mold Inspectors, (or TMI), along with her husband, in the Houston, TX area. After her family’s devastating experience that not only injured her whole family, but also resulted in the loss of their youngest son Malachi, she and her husband have dedicated their lives to now educating and assisting families affected by toxic mold with their state-licensed mold inspection company.
Emily is the founder and owner of MAM. Additionally, she has recently started a non-profit organization in the name of her youngest son, called Malachi’s Message Foundation, to aid in financial support and offer hope to families who feel isolated and are unable to afford all the complex obstacles of overcoming a toxic mold exposure.