Mycotoxin Research

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 145–151 | Cite as

Comparison of ochratoxin A levels in edible pig tissues and in biological fluids after exposure to a contaminated diet

  • Jelka PleadinEmail author
  • Nina Kudumija
  • Dragan Kovačević
  • Giampiero Scortichini
  • Salvatore Milone
  • Ivana Kmetič
Original Article


The aim of this study was to compare ochratoxin A (OTA) levels in pig tissues and biological fluids after animal exposure to contaminated diet (250 μg OTA/kg of feed) during 4 weeks of fattening. OTA concentrations were quantified using a validated immunoassay method (ELISA) and high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detector (HPLC-FD). The highest mean OTA concentration in pig tissues was determined in kidneys of exposed animals (13.87 ± 1.41 μg/kg), followed by lungs (10.47 ± 1.97 μg/kg), liver (7.28 ± 1.75 μg/kg), spleen (4.81 ± 0.99 μg/kg), muscle tissue (4.72 ± 0.86 μg/kg), fat tissue (4.11 ± 0.88 μg/kg), heart (3.71 ± 1.09 μg/kg), and brain (3.01 ± 0.25 μg/kg). Furthermore, on the last day of exposure (day 28), significantly higher mean OTA levels were determined in urine (16.06 ± 3.09 μg/L) in comparison to serum (4.77 ± 1.57 μg/L) showing that OTA urine analysis could be a good marker to identify elevated levels of this contaminant in porcine tissues used for human consumption. This study gave guidelines for the most efficient OTA control in pig-derived biological materials that can be exercised at slaughterhouses.


Ochratoxin A Contaminated feed Pigs Tissues Biological fluids 



The work is supported by the Croatian Veterinary Institute, Zagreb, Croatia, without any external financial support.

Compliance with ethical standard

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no conflicts of interest.


  1. Abramson D, Sinha RN, Mills JT (1987) Mycotoxin formation in moist 2-row and 6-row barley during granary storage. Mycopathologia 97:179–185CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrunhosa L, Paterson RRM, Venâncio A (2010) Review: biodegradation of ochratoxin A for food and feed decontamination. Toxins 2:1078–1099CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  3. Amezequa S, Penas GE, Arbizu MM, De Certain AL (2009) Ochratoxin A decontamination: a review. Food Contr 20:326–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Animal Protection Act No. 37 (2013). Official Gazette of the Republic of CroatiaGoogle Scholar
  5. Binder EM, Tan LM, Chin LJ, Handl J, Richard J (2007) Worldwide occurrence of mycotoxins in commodities, feeds and feed ingredients. Anim Feed Sci Technol 137:265–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castegnaro M, Canadas D, Vrabcheva T, Petkova-Bocharova T, Chernozemsky IN, Pfohl-Leszkowicz A (2006) Balkan endemic nephropathy: role of ochratoxins A through biomarkers. Mol Nutr Food Res 50:519–529CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. CFP/EFSA/FEEDAP/2009/01. Review of mycotoxin-detoxifying agents used as feed additives: made of action, efficacy and feed/food.
  8. Dall’Asta C, Galaverna G, Bertuzzi T, Moseriti A, Pietri A, Dossena A, Marchelli R (2010) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in raw ham muscle, salami and dry-cured ham from pigs fed with contaminated diet. Food Chem 120:978–983CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dietrich DR, Heussner AH, O’Brien E (2005) Ochratoxin A: comparative pharmacokinetics and toxicological implications (experimental and domestic animals and humans). Food Addit Contam 22:45–52CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. European Commission (2006) Commission recommendation 2006/576/EC of 17 August 2006 on presence of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 and fumonisins in products intended for animal feeding. Off J Eur Union L229:7–9Google Scholar
  11. Gareis M, Scheuer R (2000) Ochratoxin A in meat and meat products. Archiv für Lebensmottelhygiene 51:102–104Google Scholar
  12. Gareis M, Wolff J (2000) Relevance of mycotoxin contaminated feed for farming animals and carry over of mycotoxins in food of animal origin. Mycoses 43:79–83CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Glavitis R, Vanyi A (1995) More important mycotoxicosis in pigs. Magyar Állatorvosak Lapja 50:407–420Google Scholar
  14. Gupta RC (2011) Aflatoxins, ochratoxins and citrinin. In: Gupta RC (ed) Reproductive and developmental toxicology. Elsevier, London, pp 753–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Harvey RB, Kubena LF, Elissalde MH, Rottinghaus GE, Corrier DE (1994) Administration of ochratoxin A and T-2 toxin to growing swine. Am J Vet Res 55:1757–1761PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Italian Ministry of Health (1999) Circular No. 10. Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  17. Kroght P, Elling C, Friis F, Hald B, Larensen AE, Lillehøj EB, Madsen A, Mortensen HP, Rasmussen F, Ravnskov U (1979) Porcine nephropathy induced by long-term ingestion of ochratoxin A. Vet Pathol 16:466–475Google Scholar
  18. Lusky K, Tesch D, Gobel R (1993) Influence of the mycotoxin ochratoxin A on animal health and formation of residues in pigs and different types of sausages derived from these animals. Archiv Fur Lebensmittelhygiene 44:131–134Google Scholar
  19. Lusky K, Tesch D, Gobel R (1995) Untersuchung der Wirkung von natürlichem und kristallinem Ochratoxin A nach Verfűtterung über 28 Tage beim Schwein mit anschlieβender Untersuchung des Rückstandsverhaltens beider Formen des Mylotoxins in Körperflussigkeit und Organen sowie in Fleisch- und Wurstwaren. Archiv Fur Lebensmittelhygiene 46:45–48Google Scholar
  20. Madsen A, Mortensen HP, Hald B (1982) Feeding experiments with ochratoxin A contaminated barley for bacon pigs—part 2. Acta Agric Scand 32:369–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Malaguti L, Zannotti M, Scampini A, Sciaraffia F (2005) Effect of ochratoxin A on heavy pig production. Anim Res 54:179–184CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mally A, Dekant W (2005) DNA adduct formation by ochratoxin A: review of available evidence. Food Addit Contam Suppl 1:65–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marin DE, Tăranu I, Tabuc C, Burgehelea M (2009) Ochratoxin: nature, origin, metabolism and toxic effects in pigs. Archiva Zootech 12:5–17Google Scholar
  24. Markov K, Pleadin J, Bevardi M, Vahčić N, Sokolić-Mihalak D, Frece J (2013) Natural occurrence of aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A and citrinin in Croatian fermented meat products. Food Contr 34:312–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Milićević D, Jurić V, Vuković D, Mandić M (2009) Natural occurrences of ochratoxicosis in slaughtered pigs from different regions of Serbia. Vet World 2:293–298Google Scholar
  26. Pascale M, Visconti A (2008) Overview of detection methods for mycotoxins. In: Leslie JF, Bandyopadhyay R, Visconti A. (ed) Mycotoxins. Detectin methods, management, public health and agricultural trade, Myco-Globe, pp 171–183Google Scholar
  27. Pepeljnjak S, Cvetnić Z, Šegvić Klarić M (2008) Ochratoxin A and zearalenon: cereals and feed contamination in Croatia (1977–2007) and influence on animal and human health. Krmiva 50:147–159Google Scholar
  28. Peraica M, Radić B, Lucić A, Pavlović M (1999) Toxic effects of mycotoxins in humans. Bull World Health Organ 77:754–766PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Perši N, Pleadin J, Vulić A, Kmetič I, Šimić B (2012) Determination of ochratoxin A in serum and urine of pigs. World Mycotox J 5:351–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Perši N, Pleadin J, Kovačević D, Scortichini G, Milone S (2014) Ochratoxin A in raw materials and cooked meat products made from OTA-treated pigs. Meat Sci 96:203–210CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Petzinger E, Weidenbach A (2002) Mycotoxin in feed chain: the role of ochratoxin. Livestock Product Sci 76:245–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pfohl-Leszkowicz A, Manderville AR (2007) Review Ochratoxin A: an overview on toxicity and carcinogenicity in animals and humans. Mol Nutr Food Res 51:61–99CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Pietri A, Bertuzzi T, Gualla A, Piva G (2006) Occurrence of ochratoxin A in raw ham muscles and in pork products from Northern Italy. Ital J Food Sci 18:99–106Google Scholar
  34. Pleadin J, Perši N, Kovačević D, Vahčić N, Scortichini G, Milone S (2013) Ochratoxin A in traditional dry-cured meat products produced from subchronic exposed pigs. Food Addit Contam 30:1827–1836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pleadin J, Kovačević D, Perši N (2015a) Ochratoxin A contamination of autochthonous dry-cured meat product “Slavonski Kulen” during a six-month production process. Food Contr 57:377–384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pleadin J, Staver M, Vahčić N, Kovačević D, Milone S, Saftić L, Scortichini G (2015b) Survey of aflatoxin B1 and ochratoxin A occurrence in traditional meat products coming from Croatian households and markets. Food Contr 52:71–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rosi A, Sardi L, Zaghini A, Rizzi L (2006) Diete contaminate de micotossine nel suino: Effetti in vivo e al macello. Suinicoltura 10:131–134Google Scholar
  38. Stoev SD, Gundasheva D, Zarkov I, Mircheva T, Zapryanova D, Denev S, Mitev Y, Daskalov H, Dutton M, Mwanza M, Schneider Y-J (2012) Experimental mycotoxic nephropathy in pigs provoked by a mouldy diet containing ochratoxin A and fumonisin B1. Exp Toxicol Pathol 64:733–741CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mycotoxin Research and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelka Pleadin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nina Kudumija
    • 1
  • Dragan Kovačević
    • 2
  • Giampiero Scortichini
    • 3
  • Salvatore Milone
    • 4
  • Ivana Kmetič
    • 5
  1. 1.Laboratory for Analytical ChemistryCroatian Veterinary InstituteZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Faculty of Food TechnologyUniversity of Josip Juraj Strossmayer in OsijekOsijekCroatia
  3. 3.Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Umbria e delle Marche, Food, Feed and Environmental ChemistryPerugiaItaly
  4. 4.Food Chemistry and Residues UnitInstituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e del Molise G. CaporaleTeramoItaly
  5. 5.Faculty of Food Technology and BiotechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia

Personalised recommendations