Moulds (micromycetes) are very common in nature. They became part of the biosphere and perform in the ecosystem multiple roles in the ecosystem: decomposers, parasites and symbionts. Constantly adapting to the environment, micromycetes acquired a number of special properties. Now they are capable of forming biologically active substances which can inhibit the growth of competitors and protective functions of the host organism.
Today moulds are used in medicine for the preparation of medicaments. In addition, the mold fungi are used for the production of expensive cheeses. But fungi are not as harmless as it may seem at first glance. In the process of life they secrete mycotoxins – toxic substances, which, if released into the body of an animal or person, can seriously damage it.
Microscopic fungi and their spores are always present in the air, the soil on the surface of various objects. Their parasitic activity is dependent on environmental conditions: humidity, temperature, influence of phytoncides. That is why micromycetes are so common in agriculture, where there are all favorable conditions for their development. According to the evaluation FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) 25% of all produced grain products are contaminated by mycotoxins.
Classification of mycotoxins
Today there are known more than two hundred types of mycotoxins. Many of them can cause mutations, disturbances and disruptions in the immune system. The most famous representatives of mycotoxins include:
While releasing in the human or animal body, these mycotoxins can cause serious pathologic changes. For example, aflatoxins, food contaminants of peanut, corn, rice, coffee and other crops, are characterized by a strong carcinogenic effect, cause liver cancer.
Ochratoxins affect the kidneys, disrupt the process of embryogenesis (resulting in congenital malformations in humans and animals), cause cancer. Danger of afla- and ochratoxins is their durability. They are not destroyed by thermal processing and retain their toxic properties.
Trichothecenes affect the immune system, cause nutritional toxicosis in animals and humans. Zearalenone is possessed estrogenic effects, which leads to early puberty. Fumonisins cause respiratory disease, increase the risk of disease leukoencephalopathy.
Methods to fight mycotoxins
Thanks to modern methods for the determination of mycotoxin poisoning incidents are rare, they allow to timely identify and remove affected products.
During the research scientists found out that the contaminated in the wild feed are much more toxic than contaminated in the laboratory. The fact is that the experts usually identify only 3-4 species of mycotoxins. Often the presence of a few micrograms of toxic substances do not cause any trouble and it is commonplace. However, fungi rarely produce one type of mycotoxin, mostly microscopic fungi produce a range of toxic substances that suppress the resistance of other competing organisms.
How to protect the livestock from the impact of mycotoxins?
There are more than 100 thousand species of fungi. Many of them are capable to produce mycotoxins. Thoroughly examine each of them is not possible, every year new species appear, old ones mutate. Previous methods for the detection and control of mycotoxins are ineffective, as are aimed at neutralisation only one certain toxin. Most feed supplements are not able to neutralize the toxic effect of several mycotoxins simultaneously. The question arises: “How to protect the livestock from the effects of toxic substances?”.
There is an exit. It is the application of enterosorption – innovative method of cleansing the organism through the gastrointestinal tract by means of special “binder” substances. That is, special components absorb mycotoxins and remove them from the organism unchanged..
This method has several advantages:
- Unique feature of adsorption. It consists in increasing the % of the absorbed substances under reducing its quantity in the solution;
- There are no toxic degradation products as opposed to enzymatic degradation process.
- Enterosorption does not require special equipment, the method is economically expedient.
Despite all the advantages of adsorbents, development of a particular product to combat mycotoxins faces a number of serious difficulties. The product should be very specific not to harm the intestinal microflora, not “withdraw” from the body useful and nutrients only bind mycotoxins, be resistant to alkaline environment of the intestine. To develop product that would meet all of these requirements is extremely difficult.
Universal product for fighting mycotoxins – “Mikasil”
There are many feed supplements and antitoxic preparations of foreign production, but foreign adsorbents are expensive, and thus are not readily available for Ukrainian consumers. Today, this situation is improving, the national analogues has already begun to appear in market,they are not inferior in quality and effectiveness.
The best example of such product is the “Mikasil” by company “Globus”. Bipolar adsorbent “Mikasil” has managed to establish itself and take a leading position among domestic drugs to fight mycotoxins. Leading experts in the field mycotoxikology have worked at its development . “Mikasil” – universal adsorbent from environmentally friendly raw materials, meets all the requirements and international standards, effective in the fight against all mycotoxins known to date. “Mikasil” is a reliable means to prevent and treat mycotoxicosis in animals.