A French INRA scientist is currently demonstrating on Youtube how the mycotoxin DON cripples animals' immune systems by targeting their first line of defence - the intestine.
Dr Isabelle Oswald of the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) has uploaded the video to Biomin's Mycotoxin Channel on Youtube.
It demonstrates mycotoxin intestinal absorption, specifically the effects of DON on the gastrointestinal tract.
Also known as deoxynivalenol or vomitoxin, DON is among the most commonly occurring of Fusarium mycotoxins often associated with illness in farm animals or humans.
The gastrointestinal tract is the first barrier that the mycotoxin DON encounters in the animal's body.
Once ingested, DON significantly weakens the intestine, altering its protective barrier function and allowing more contaminants to enter the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract.
This produces a deleterious effect on the animal.
From a weakened gastrointestinal tract, Dr Oswald explains that bacteria are then able to translocate themselves to the rest of the animal.
Dr Oswald is the head of immuno-mycotoxicology at INRA, specialising in research on the impact of mycotoxins on the immune system, particularly in pigs.
Besides the effects of DON, Dr Oswald has also touched on the long-term effects of mycotoxins on pigs and methods to analyse the mycotoxin effect in the gastrointestinal tract.
The Mycotoxin Channel consists of webinars that address specific questions on mycotoxin problems and mycotoxin-management issues around the world.
Topical sections include analysis, mycotoxin risk-management, mycotoxins in general and symptoms.