Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
MWANZA, Mulunda et al. Canine aflatoxicosis outbreak in South Africa (2011): A possible multi-mycotoxins aetiology. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2013, vol.84, n.1, pp. 01-05. ISSN 2224-9435.
This study analysed 60 dog food samples obtained from commercial outlets following the 2011 aflatoxicosis outbreak in South Africa. Results obtained from the selected dog food samples revealed that 87% of samples were contaminated with aflatoxins (AFs) (mainly AFB1 and AFB2). Amongst these samples, 45 (75%) were above the 20 parts per billion (ppb) set by most countries and 10 ppb regulated by the Fertilizers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act (Act No. 36 of 1947) for South Africa. In addition to AFs, other mycotoxins were also detected in the same samples with fumonisins (FBs) (mainly FB1and FB2) contaminating 98% of samples with 49 (81.81) above the tolerable limit of 1000 ppb in feedstuff set up by the Federal Drug Agency (FDA) (USA). The FBs mean obtained was 1556 ppb (Table 1) with contamination varying between 5.2 and 4653.8 ppb. Ochratoxin A (OTA) was detected in 41 (68%) of the analysed samples, with a mean value of 13.7 ppb. Amongst these samples, 15 (25%) were above the 20 ppb highest limit set by the Codex Alimentarius standard. Zearalenone (ZEA) was detected in 96% of samples, with a mean value of 354.1 ppb. Thirty-three samples (55%) were above the regulated level 1000 ppb tolerable limit. The recoveries were up to ten times the tolerable daily limits of the FDA and EU. The correlation between mycotoxin findings and clinical signs reported on patients presented for aflatoxicosis led to the conclusion that the outbreak was associated with the presence of other mycotoxins found simultaneously in the analysed samples by additive or synergistic effects.