Mycotoxins are unavoidable contaminants of animal and human feed and food respectively. This study was designed to investigate the protective activity of vitamin E (Vit E) in White Leghorn breeder hens and their progeny against aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-induced damage.
The results indicated a significant decrease in egg production and quality in the groups exposed to dietary AFB1. A detectable amount of AFB1 residue appeared in the eggs during the first week of mycotoxin exposure at levels ≥ 2.5 mg kg−1, which reached
its peak (0.403 ± 0.04 ng/g [mean ± standard deviation]) during the second week of the experiment (in the group fed 10 mg kg−1). Feeding Vit E + AFB1 resulted in higher AFB1 residues (0.467 ± 0.03) when compared with the hens fed
AFB1 alone. The resistance of red blood cells to oxidative damage was decreased, while embryonic mortalities and deformities were increased in the AFB1-fed groups. The protective effect of Vit E on these parameters was noted in the groups fed lower doses of AFB1.
After the withdrawal of mycotoxin-contaminated feed, most of the parameters returned towards normal within 2 weeks, except AFB1 residues that were still detectable. From the findings of this study one can conclude that the addition of Vit E in the diet of hens provided only partial
protection against AFB1-induced damage.
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Document Type: Research Article
Department of Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Department of Animal Health, The University of Agriculture Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan
Animal Sciences Division, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan
Publication date: September 3, 2014
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