What is aflatoxicosis?

Aflatoxicosis is a condition caused by the ingestion of aflatoxins, which are highly toxic substances produced by certain molds, particularly Aspergillus species. These molds can contaminate various agricultural products, including grains, nuts, seeds, and spices, especially in warm and humid climates. Aflatoxins are potent carcinogens and can also cause acute and chronic health effects in humans and animals.


What is the relationship between aflatoxicosis and oxidative stress?

Aflatoxicosis, caused by exposure to aflatoxins, is closely linked to oxidative stress. Aflatoxins are toxic compounds produced by certain molds that contaminate food and feedstuffs. Here’s how the relationship between aflatoxicosis and oxidative stress works:


  • ROS Generation: Aflatoxins can induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within cells. ROS are highly reactive molecules that can damage cellular components such as proteins, lipids, and DNA. This oxidative damage contributes to tissue injury and dysfunction, which are characteristic features of aflatoxicosis.


  • Antioxidant Defense Mechanisms: Aflatoxins can disrupt the body’s antioxidant defense mechanisms. These defense mechanisms normally protect cells from oxidative damage. However, aflatoxins can impair the activity of antioxidant enzymes and reduce the levels of antioxidant molecules, making cells more susceptible to oxidative stress.


  • Inflammatory Responses: Aflatoxicosis triggers inflammatory responses in affected tissues. Inflammatory mediators released during the immune response can further promote ROS production and contribute to tissue damage and inflammation. This perpetuates a cycle of oxidative stress and inflammation, exacerbating the effects of aflatoxicosis.


Overall, oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the pathogenesis of aflatoxicosis by mediating the toxic effects of aflatoxins on cells and tissues.