Aquaculture Europe 2023

September 18 - 21, 2023


Add To Calendar 19/09/2023 15:00:0019/09/2023 15:15:00Europe/ViennaAquaculture Europe 2023TOXIC EFFECTS AND HEALTH RISKS OF THE SYNTHETIC ACTION OF DIETARY MYCOTOXINS IN GILTHEAD SEABREAMSchubert 5The European Aquaculture Societywebmaster@aquaeas.orgfalseDD/MM/YYYYaaVZHLXMfzTRLzDrHmAi181982


C. Papadouli1, S. Vardali1, T. Karatzinos1, F. Lykotrafitis1, M. Maniaki1, P. Panagiotaki1, D. Kogiannou2, Ch. Nikoloudaki2, I. Nengas2, M. Henry2, G. Rigos2, E. Golomazou1*

1Department of Ichthyology and Aquatic Environment - Aquaculture Laboratory, School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Thessaly, Fytokou str., 38446, Volos, Greece, *e-mail :

2 Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology, and Aquaculture, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, 46.7 km Athens-Sounion , 19013, Attiki, Greece



 Plant proteins have been widely used in aquafeeds as a substitute for fish meal diets to support aquaculture development .  However, contamination of plant ingredients with toxicogenic fungi is common and occurs in a wide range  of these raw materials worldwide . Accidental mycotoxin consumption by fish, can result in various toxic actions and raise concern for both animal health and food safety. In aquaculture, diets contaminated with mycotoxins  is a burden on health of cultured fish (Zhonghao et al ., 2023). This study aimed to evaluate the impact of co-exposure to the emerging dietary mycotoxins  including Aflatoxin B1  (AFB1), Fumonisin B1 (FB), and Deoxynivalenol (DON) in  graded contamination levels ,  on zootechnical parameters and health indices of gilthead seabream (Sparus aurata).

 Materials and Methods

Triplicate aquariums received five experimental diets: A  (DON:500, FB:1000, AFB1:5 ppb),  B (DON:150, FB:650, AFB1:2 ppb), C (DON:3000, FB:40, AFB1:2 ppb), D (DON:150, FB:40, AFB1:10 ppb), E (DON:150, FB:100, AFB1:2 ppb). The control group (CTRL) was fed with a marine-based , mycotoxin-free diet. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks. Fish were hand-fed “ad libitum”, two meals per day, 6 days a week. Feed intake and mortalities were daily recorded .  Water physiochemical parameters were maintained within the standard levels. Endpoint assessment included  evaluation  of haematological  and  immunological parameters,  energy utilization (feed-intake and growth) and  induced genotoxicity by Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis assay . Liver samples were collected  for the determination of hepatic  lesions  through histological analysis. One-way ANOVA was used to determine the variance among treatments, followed by Tukey’s post hoc test at a significance level of P < 0.05.

 Results and Discussion

 All treatments containing mycotoxins caused significantly lower food consumption compared to the control group.  The group with the highest DON concentration (Group C)  showed  the lowest feed intake, followed by  the  group with the highest AFB1  concentration (Group D) . Inferior growth (lower mean weight, length, and total biomass increase) was also recorded in group C, followed by groups D, E and B (Table 1.) , as mentioned  before  in the case of rainbow trout after dietary exposure to DON (Koletsi et al., 2022). S ignificantly lower haematocrit was recorded in all groups compared to the CTRL , while the lowest value was estimated for the  group with the highest FB concentration (group A). Significant decreases in the erythrocytes, leucocytes, and the haematocrit values were previously observed in fish fed with diets with a mixture of FB and AFB1 ( Adeyemo et al.,2022). Diets C and D  showed strong effects with significantly elevated Hb and reduced  complement, trypsin inhibition and/or alkaline phosphatase activities. The inhibitory action of AFB1 was already shown in Indian major carp with a significant immunosuppressive effect including reduced serum total globulin and reduced bactericidal activities (Sahoo & Mukherjee, 2001 ). Diet A also showed significantly reduced trypsin inhibition .  Concerning genotoxicity induced by the mycotoxins,  no significant differences  on  DNA damage were  confirmed between  examined groups .  Liver sections from  all mycotoxin groups  revealed pathological signs, such as focal to extensive degenerative changes in liver parenchyma and early necrotic changes in some hepatocytes, that showed pyknotic and shrunken nuclei (group C). Mild to extensive hepatocyte cytoplasmic vacuolation, indicating hydropic and fatty degeneration of liver cells was  also  detected in all mycotoxin groups . In contrast, histopathological examination of liver sections from the CTRL group showed normal hepatic parenchyma and hepatopancreas.


The project is co-funded by Greece and the European Union under the Fisheries and Maritime Operational Program 2014-2020 (75% EMFF contribution, 25% National Contribution), Project title: ‘‘Mycotoxins in Aquaculture: Innovative management practices to protect fish and consumer health’’.


 Adeyemo, B. T., Enefe , N. G., Kayode, T. B., Ezekwesili, A., Olabode, O. H., Zakariya, A., Oladele, G. M., Abalaka , S. E., Nafarnda , W. D., & Alawa, C. B. I., 2022. Effects of Dietary Lanthanum Chloride on Growth Performance, Hematology and Serum Biochemistry of Juvenile Clarias gariepinus Catfish Fed Diets Amended with Mixtures of Aflatoxin B1 and Fumonisin B1. Toxins , 14:8.

Koletsi P. , Wiegertjes G.F. , Graat E . A . M., Lyons P. , Schrama J. , 2022. Time- and Dose-Dependent Effects of Dietary Deoxynivalenol (DON) in Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) at Organism and Tissue Level. Toxins , 14 :11, 810.

Sahoo P.K. &, Mukherjee S.C., 2001. Immunosuppressive effects of aflatoxin B1 in Indian major carp (Labeo rohita). Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 24:3, 143-9.

Zhonghao Z. , Yi Z. , Jinzhu Y. , Wenbing Z. , Kangsen M. , Yanjiao Z. ,  2023. Evaluation of the effects of dietary mycotoxin-degrading adsorbent on juvenile turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L.) fed aflatoxin B1-contaminated diets, Aquaculture Reports, 30 .