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Toxin Degradation by Rumen Microorganisms: A Review

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Loh, Z. H., Ouwerkerk, D., Klieve, A. V., Hungerford, N. L. and Fletcher, M. T. (2020) Toxin Degradation by Rumen Microorganisms: A Review. Toxins, 12 (10). ISSN 2072-6651


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins12100664


Animal feeds may contain exogenous compounds that can induce toxicity when ruminants ingest them. These toxins are secondary metabolites originating from various sources including plants, bacteria, algae and fungi. Animal feed toxins are responsible for various animal poisonings which negatively impact the livestock industry. Poisoning is more frequently reported in newly exposed, naïve ruminants while ‘experienced’ ruminants are observed to better tolerate toxin-contaminated feed. Ruminants can possess detoxification ability through rumen microorganisms with the rumen microbiome able to adapt to utilise toxic secondary metabolites. The ability of rumen microorganisms to metabolise these toxins has been used as a basis for the development of preventative probiotics to confer resistance against the poisoning to naïve ruminants. In this review, detoxification of various toxins, which include plant toxins, cyanobacteria toxins and plant-associated fungal mycotoxins, by rumen microorganisms is discussed. The review will include clinical studies of the animal poisoning caused by these toxins, the toxin mechanism of action, toxin degradation by rumen microorganisms, reported and hypothesised detoxification mechanisms and identified toxin metabolites with their toxicity compared to their parent toxin. This review highlights the commercial potential of rumen inoculum derived probiotics as viable means of improving ruminant health and production.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Additional Information:Open access pdf attached
Keywords:rumen microorganisms plant toxins probiotic metabolism degradation
Subjects:Science > Microbiology > Microbial ecology
Science > Microbiology > Microorganisms in the animal body
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary microbiology
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary toxicology
Live Archive:26 Oct 2020 22:08
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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