Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Aspergillus flavus

Synonym(s): A. flavus

Contributor(s): Richard Walker

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom:Fungi.
  • Division: Amastigomycota.
  • Order: Eurotiales.
  • Genus: Aspergillus.
  • Species: flavus.

Etymology

  • L: asperge - to sprinkle.
  • L: flavus - yellow.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • High humidity and high temperatures during the growth, harvest, transport and storage favor the growth of A. flavus and toxin production.

Transmission

  • Ingestion of mycotoxin in food.

Pathological effects

  • About half the strains of A. flavus are toxigenic under optimal environmental conditions.
  • Mycotoxins Mycotoxicoses are secondary fungal metabolites which induce a range of clinical effects.
  • Aflatoxins (produced by Aspergillus spp) are hepatotoxic, teratogenic, mutagenic and carcinogenic.
  • Clinical effects: drop in milk yield, immunosuppression, nervous signs and decreased food conversion.

Other Host Effects

  • Very occasionally acts as an opportunistic pathogen; more often involved in aflatoxicosis.

Control

Other countermeasures

  • Prevention of contamination at all stages of food production, eg by rapid drying of harvested crops and by the use of preservatives.
  • Decontamination strategies include physical removal, thermal inactivation, irradiation, microbial degradation and chemical treatment.
  • Legislation exists in many countries to regulate maximum acceptable levels of aflatoxins in human and animal food.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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