T-2 toxin is produced primarily by F. sporotri-chioides and has been reported in many areas of the world. It is formed in large quantities in the unusual circumstance of prolonged wet weather at harvest. Natural contamination of foods and feeds by T-2 toxin in the United States has been reported in only one incident involving heavily molded corn. An official tolerance level of 0.1 mg/kg was established for T-2 toxin in grains in Russia.
T-2 toxin, as the representative trichothecene, has been well studied for its toxic effects on various animal models and has been reviewed in detail.
General signs of toxicity in animals include weight loss, decreased feed conversion, feed refusal, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, severe dermatitis, hemorrhage, decreased egg production, abortion, and death. His-tologic lesions consist of necrosis and hemorrhage in proliferating tissues of the intestinal mucosa, bone marrow, spleen, testis, and ovary. T-2 toxin can alter hemostasis and affect cellular immune response in animals, and it is a strong inhibitor of protein and DNA synthesis. T-2 toxin is also teratogenic in mice and rats. As the major trichothecene mycotoxin, T-2 toxin has been implicated in a variety of animal and human toxicosis, such as alimentary toxic aleukia, Msleni joint disease, scabby grain toxicosis, and Kashin-Beck disease.
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