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Immunotoxic activity of the fungal immunosuppressans ochratoxin A
Ochratoxin A (OTA) is an immunosuppressant fungal compound, produced by toxigenic species of Aspergillus and Penicillium fungi in a wide variety of climates and geographical regions. The contamination of food by this mycotoxin takes place primarily during preharvest periods. Which immunosuppressant activity does OTA exactly have?

Almost all types of food can be contaminated. In addition, its chemical stability against heat and during industrial food processing makes OTA one of the most abundant food contaminating mycotoxins.

Due in part to its long serum half-life in man, almost 100% of all human blood samples from some geographic regions may be positive for OTA.

The immunosuppressant activity of OTA is characterized by size reduction of vital immune organs, such as thymus, spleen, and lymph nodes, depression of antibody responses, alterations in the number and functions of immune cells, and modulation of cytokine production.

The immunotoxic activity of OTA probably results from degenerative changes and cell death following necrosis and apoptosis, in combination with slow replacement of affected immune cells, due to inhibition of protein synthesis.



Source: AL-ANATI, L. & PETZINGER, E. (2006): Immunotoxic activity of ochratoxin A. In: Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 29 (2), 79-90.




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BOVINE

Subclinical ketosis in dairy cows: prevalence and risk factorsmembers
Subclinical ketosis is commonly seen especially in dairy cows and grazing systems aand can become a serious and sometimes life threatening metabolic problem. The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of Subclinical ketosis (SCK) between 4 and 19 days in milk (DIM) in a grazing production system and investigate the importance of potential risk factors for SCK.

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