Understanding My Results



Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi (molds) that cause an undesirable effect (mycotoxicosis) when animals are exposed.  Exposure is usually by consumption of feeds, but may also be by direct contact or inhalation.


Aflatoxin is a toxic and carcinogenic substance produced by certain strains of the mold Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus.  The effects in livestock of ingesting excessive amounts of aflatoxin range from chronic health and performance problems to death.  Aflatoxin has also been shown to cause liver damage or cancer, decrease milk and egg production, suppress the immune system and interfere with reproduction efficiency.

Deoxynivalenol (DON)
This toxin is also referred to as vomitoxin and is one of several mycotoxins produced by certain Fusarium mold species that can infect corn, wheat, oats, barley, rice and other grains.  Ingestion of DON by animals can result in decreased intake, vomiting and reduced growth.

Fumonisins are mycotoxins produced by different species of the mold Fusarium.  Commonly infected grains are corn and rice.  Horses and pigs are the most sensitive species.  Horses are extremely sensitive to low amounts of fumonisins which can cause leukoencephalamalacia.  In swine, fumonisins can cause pulmonary edema as well as liver and pancreatic lesions.

Ochratoxin A
Ochratoxin is produced by the molds Aspergillus ochraceus and Penicillium viridicatum.  Highest levels are found in corn, barley, wheat and rye.  Ochratoxin is also a suspected carcinogen.  There has been no advisory or regulatory level for ochratoxin in feed issued by the FDA.

T-2 Toxin

T-2 toxin is produced by several species of Fusarium molds and has an adverse effect of many animals.  In many species, widespread tissue and organ damage may occur, including; hematological, hepatic, renal, pancreatic, muscular and cardiac effects.  The FDA has issued advisory levels for T-2 toxin at < 500 ppb.


Zearalenone is produced by the mold Fusurium gramineaum and is classified as an estrogenic mycotoxin and can cause estrogenic responses in animals.  In swine, additional problems include vulvovaginitis, low birth weights, abortions, reduced litter sizes and abnormal estrus. The FDA has issued advisory levels at < 500ppb.

Stearns DHIA Laboratories
825 12th Street South, PO Box 227
Sauk Centre, MN 56378-0227
320.352.2028 · 800.369.2697
Fax 320.352.6163 · Email


Monday-Friday: 8AM-4PM


Drop Off Location
Sauk Centre Front Entrance Drop Off
Open 24 Hours
Refrigerator Available for Water, Milk,
and Wet Feed Samples