The role of roughage provision on the absorption and disposition of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol and its acetylated derivatives in calves: from field observations to toxicokinetics

Bonnie Valgaeren, Léonard Théron, Siska Croubels, Mathias Devreese, Siegrid De Baere, Els Van Pamel, Els Daeseleire, Marthe De Boevre, Sarah De Saeger, Arnau Vidal, José Diana Di Mavungu, Philipp Fruhmann, Gerhard Adam, Alfons Callebaut, Calixte Bayrou, Vincent Frisée, Anne-Sophie Rao, Emilie Knapp, Arnaud Sartelet, Bart PardonPiet Deprez, Gunther Antonissen

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    A clinical case in Belgium demonstrated that feeding a feed concentrate containing considerable levels of deoxynivalenol (DON, 1.13 mg/kg feed) induced severe liver failure in 2- to 3-month-old beef calves. Symptoms disappeared by replacing the highly contaminated corn and by stimulating ruminal development via roughage administration. A multi-mycotoxin contamination was demonstrated in feed samples collected at 15 different veal farms in Belgium. DON was most prevalent, contaminating 80% of the roughage samples (mixed straw and maize silage; average concentration in positives: 637 ± 621 µg/kg, max. 1818 µg/kg), and all feed concentrate samples (411 ± 156 µg/kg, max. 693 µg/kg). In order to evaluate the impact of roughage provision and its associated ruminal development on the gastro-intestinal absorption and biodegradation of DON and its acetylated derivatives (3- and 15-ADON) in calves, a toxicokinetic study was performed with two ruminating and two non-ruminating male calves. Animals received in succession a bolus of DON (120 µg/kg bodyweight (BW)), 15-ADON (50 µg/kg BW), and 3-ADON (25 µg/kg) by intravenous (IV) injection or per os (PO) in a cross-over design. The absolute oral bioavailability of DON was much higher in non-ruminating calves (50.7 ± 33.0%) compared to ruminating calves (4.1 ± 4.5%). Immediately following exposure, 3- and 15-ADON were hydrolysed to DON in ruminating calves. DON and its acetylated metabolites were mainly metabolized to DON-3-glucuronide, however, also small amounts of DON-15-glucuronide were detected in urine. DON degradation to deepoxy-DON (DOM-1) was only observed to a relevant extent in ruminating calves. Consequently, toxicity of DON in calves is closely related to roughage provision and the associated stage of ruminal development.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalArchives of Toxicology
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

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