Identification of Aspergillus flavus and aflatoxin in home mix layer poultry feed in relation to seasons in Karachi, Pakistan

  • Shajeela Iram
  • Syed Khurram Fareed
  • Maimoona Chaudhary
  • Mehir un Nisa Iqbal
  • Rubina Ghani
  • Taseer Ahmed Khan
  • Tanveer AbbasEmail author
Regular Articles


Fungal toxins in feed are leading issue in poultry industry causing a detrimental effect on the performance and health of poultry. The study was carried out to determine the incidence and concentration of the aflatoxins and their major producer Aspergillus flavus in home mix layer poultry feed in respect of seasonal variation throughout the year. A total of (n = 204) home mix poultry layer feed samples were analyzed for the isolation of fungi. The isolates were initially screened through colony morphology and microscopic examination. However, aflatoxin concentration was determined by ELISA. Revealed results indicated that, the highest percentage of A. flavus was found during the months of June to August 50/54 (92.5%) followed by September to November 43/65 (66.1%), March to May 21/40 (52.5%), and December to February 18/45 (40%). As a whole, the incidence was recorded 132/204 (64.7%). Moreover, of the 132 samples, 41 (31%) were exceeded in respect of aflatoxin contamination from the legal limit (20 μg/kg) imposed by Food Drug Association (FDA). Statistically, the growth of A. flavus and aflatoxin production was found significantly different in respect of seasonal variation. As highest total viable fungal count (9.9 × 104 CFU/g) and aflatoxin level (72.27 μg/kg) were recorded during the months of June to August and lowest in December to February. Consequently, instantaneous essential control measures are demanded regarding appropriate storage and adequate drying in post-harvesting season. Along with surveillance plans and austere regulations for monitoring the aflatoxin contents for the wellbeing of consumers.


Aspergillus flavus Aflatoxins ELISA Fungal count 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of animal rights

This study was conducted on poultry feed samples, which were obtained from commercial poultry farms. Hence, vthis project need no live animal or bird, so no ethical committee approval was required for this study.


  1. Aliyu, R. M., Abubakar, M. B., Adamu, A. Y., and Egwu, E. O., 2012. Mycological quality of commercially prepared and self compounded poultry feeds in Sokoto Metropolis, Sokoto, Nigeria. African Journal of Microbiology Research Vol. 6(46), pp. 7314–7318. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aliyu1, R. M., Egwu1, E. O., Abubakar1, M. B., Adamu, A. Y., Salihu, M. D., Dabai, A. I., and Tambuwal, F. M., 2011. Bacteriological quality of commercially prepared and self compounded poultry feeds in Sokoto Metropolis, Sokoto, Nigeria. International Journal of applied Biology and pharmaceutical technology, 3: 345–350.Google Scholar
  3. Barnett, H.L., Hunter, B.B., 1972. Illustrated Genera of Imperfect Fungi. Third Edition. Burgess Publishing Company, Minneapolis. 241 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Bray, G.A. and Ryan, D.H., 2006. Mycotoxins, cancer and health. Pennington Center Nutrition Series, 1st Edn. Vol. 1, Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, and pp: 331–362.Google Scholar
  5. Campbell, C.K., 1994. Forms of aspergillosis. In: Powell KA, Renwick A, Peberdy JF, editors. The genus Aspergillus. New York: Plenum; pp. 313–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Davies, R.H., Wales, A.D., 2010. Investigations into Salmonella contamination in poultry feed mills in the United Kingdom. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 109, 1430–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dawlatana, M., Shahida, S., Rahim, M., Hassan, M.T., 2008. Investigation on the occurrence of Ochratoxin A in Maize in Bangladesh. Bangladesh Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research.;43(4):495–500CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dutta, T.K., Das, P., 2001. Isolation of aflatoxigenic strains of Aspergillus and detection of aflatoxin B1 from feeds in India. Mycopathologia 151: 29–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farhat Ali Khan, Muhammad Zahoor, Riaz Ullah, Naser M. AbdEI-Salam, Jafar Khan, Nasim Ullah and Zahoor Ullah.,2014. Assessment of Mycobiota and Aflatoxins in Poultry Feeds Collected from Poultry Farms. Journal of pure & applied microbiology, Vol. 8(Spl. Edn. 2), p. 437–445.Google Scholar
  10. Gentles, A., Smith, E., Kubena, I.F., Duffus, paul johnson, E., Thompson, J., Harvey, R.B., and Edringt, T. S., 1999. Toxicological Evaluations of Cyclopiazonic Acid and Ochratoxin A in Broilers. Poultry Science 78:1380–1384Google Scholar
  11. Ghulam Fareed, Muhammad Ashraf Anjum, Naveed Ahmed., 2014. Determination of Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin in poultry feed ingredients and finished feed in humid semi-tropical environment. Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research > Vol 1, No 4 )Google Scholar
  12. Girma, G., Abebaw, M., Zemene, M., Mamuye, Y., Getaneh, G., 2016. A Review on Aspergillosis in Poultry. Journal of Veterinary Science and Technology 7: 382. Scholar
  13. Haftu, K., 2016. Exotic Chicken Status, Production Performance and Constraints in Ethiopia: A Review. Asian Journal of Poultry Sciences. 10: 30-39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hassan, A.M., Kenawy, W.T., Abbas and Abdel-Wahhab, M. A., 2010. Prevention of cytogenetic, histochemical and biochemical alteration in Oreochromis niloticus by dietary supplement of sorbent materials. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 73: 1890-1895Google Scholar
  15. Kana, J.R., Gnonlonfin, B.G.J., Harvey, J., Wainaina, J., Wanjuki, I., Skilton, R.A., Teguia, A. 2013. Assessment of aflatoxin contamination of maize, peanut meal and poultry feed mixtures from different agroecological zones in Cameroon. Toxins 5: 884-894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kannan, K., Supriya, S., Adhithya, R., and Velazhahan, R., 2014. Aspergillus flavus and Aflatoxin Contamination of Poultry Feeds in Tamil Nadu, India. International Journal of Agriculture, Environment & Biotechnology Citation: IJAEB: 7(2): 361-366. Scholar
  17. Khosravi, A., Dakhili, M., Shokri, H., 2008. Pakistan Journal of Nutrition, 7, 31-37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Maetrese Arianne, J., Beley, Franco, G., Teves, M.A., Reina Suzette, B., Madamba., 2013. Isolation of Fungal Species and Detection of Aflatoxin from Soy Milk Products using ELISA method .International Research Journal of Biological Sciences. Vol. 2(5), 45-48.Google Scholar
  19. Magnoli, C., Hallak, C., Astoreca, A., Ponsone, L., Chiacchiera, S.M, Palacio, G., et al., 2005. Surveillance of toxigenic fungi and ochratoxin A in feedstuffs from Córdoba province. Veterinary Research Communication; 29: 431– 445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Mengesha, M., 2011 .Climate change and the preference of rearing poultry for demand of protein foods. Asian Journal of Poultry Sciences 5: 135-143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Moretti, A., Logrieco, A.F.,2015. Climate change effects on the biodiversity of mycotoxigenic fungi and their mycotoxins in pre harvest conditions in Europe. In: Botana M.J., Sainz L.M., editors. Climate Change and Mycotoxins. Walter de Gruyter GmbH; Berlin, Germany.Google Scholar
  22. Mustafa, M.Y., and Ali, S.S., 2005. Prevalence of infectious diseases in local and fayoumi breeds of rural poultry (gallus domesticus), Punjab University Journal of Zoology 20 (2), 177-180.Google Scholar
  23. Nemati, Z., Janmohammadi, H., Taghizadeh, A., Maleki Nejad, H., Mogaddam, G.h., and M. Arzanlou M.,2014. Occurrence of Aflatoxins in poultry feed and feed ingredients from northwestern Iran. European Journal of Zoological Research, 3 (3):56-60Google Scholar
  24. Osaro-Methew, Ruth-Chiamaka and otiekwa chidinmia., 2017. Microbial Analysis of Poultry Feeds Produced in Songhai Farms, Rivers State, Nigeria. Journal of Microbiology & Experimentation. Vol 4. Department of microbiology, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Nigeria Google Scholar
  25. Raper, K.B., and Fennell, D.I., 1965. The genus Aspergillus. Williams and Wilkins, company Baltimore, Maryland. 686 p.Google Scholar
  26. Reddy, C.S., Reddy, K.R.N., Kumar, R.N., Laha, G.S., Muralidharan, K., 2004. Exploration of aflatoxin contamination and its management in rice. Indian Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology; 34(3):816–820.Google Scholar
  27. Rodrigues, I., Naehrer, K .,2012 A three-year survey on the worldwide occurrence of mycotoxins in feedstuffs and feed. Toxins (Basel).4(9):663-75. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sabri, M.A., Siddique, M., Khan, M.Z., Samad, H.A., (1989). Prevalence and pathology of mycotoxicosis in young broiler chicks in and around Faisalabad. Pakistan Veterinary Journal, 9: 106-108.Google Scholar
  29. Sanchis, V., Magan, N., 2004. Environmental condtions affecting mycotoxins. In: Magan N., Olsen M., editors. Mycotoxins in Food: Detection and Control. Woodhead Publishing Ltd.; Cambridge, UK.Google Scholar
  30. Seyed Soheil Ghaemmaghami, Mehrdad Modirsaneii,. Ali Reza Khosravi, and Mehdi Razzaghi-Abyaneh., 2016. Study on mycoflora of poultry feed ingredients and finished feed in Iran. Iranian Journal of Microbiology. 8(1): 47–54Google Scholar
  31. Vijayasamundeeswari, A., Mohankumar, M., Karthikeyan, M., Vijayanandraj, S., Paranidharan, V., Velazhahan, R. 2009. Prevalence of aflatoxin B1 contamination in pre- and postharvest maize kernels, food products, poultry and livestock feeds in Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Plant Protection Research 49: 221-224.Google Scholar
  32. Yaling, W., Tongjie, C., Guozhong, L., Chunsan, Q., Huiyong, D., Meiling, Y., Y. Bert-Andree, Y., and Gerd, S., 2008. Similtaneous detection of airborne aflatoxin, ochratoxin and zearlaenone in poultry house by immunoaffinity column and high performance liquid chromatography. Environ. Res., 107: 139-144.Google Scholar
  33. Yong, R.K. and Cousin, M.A., 2001. Detection of Moulds producing aflatoxins in maize and peanuts by an immunoassay. International Journal of Food and Microbiology, 65: 27-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yu, J., Whitelaw, C.A., Nierman, W.C., Bhatnagar, D., Cleveland, T.E.,2004. Aspergillus flavus expressed sequence tags for identification of genes with putative roles in aflatoxin contamination of crops. FEMS Microbiol Letters.; 237(2):333–340.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shajeela Iram
    • 1
  • Syed Khurram Fareed
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maimoona Chaudhary
    • 3
  • Mehir un Nisa Iqbal
    • 4
  • Rubina Ghani
    • 2
  • Taseer Ahmed Khan
    • 4
  • Tanveer Abbas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan
  2. 2.Department of Microbiology, Baqai College of Veterinary SciencesBaqai Medical University KarachiKarachiPakistan
  3. 3.University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS)LahorePakistan
  4. 4.Department of PhysiologyUniversity of KarachiKarachiPakistan

Personalised recommendations