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To determine the potential effects of feeding fumonisin-containing culture material on the pulmonary clearance of blood-borne particulates and bacteria in swine.


21 healthy male pigs randomly assigned to control and treated groups.


Control pigs were fed a standard grower ration while culture material containing fumonisins (20 mg of hydrolyzed fumonisin B1/kg of body weight/d) was added to the feed of treated pigs for 7 days. On day 8, pigs were anesthetized with halothane and catheterized, using a sterile cut-down procedure. 18 hours after recovery from anesthesia, Monastral Blue or Pseudomonas aeruginosa was infused into the right atrium of treated and control pigs for 30 minutes and pulmonary clearance was determined.


Pigs that were fed fumonisin-containing culture material had a significantly (P < 0.05) decreased ability to clear Monastral Blue and P aeruginosa. Ultrastructural examination of the lung indicated that uptake of copper pigment by pulmonary intravascular macrophages was decreased in treated pigs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Fumonisins, even when fed to pigs at sub-lethal concentrations, can inhibit pulmonary intravascular macrophages from removing particulate matter and bacteria from the circulation, thus potentially predisposing swine to infectious disease. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1233-1238)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research