Skip to main content

Build Immunity as an Adjunct to Mycotoxin Control

Build Immunity as an Adjunct to Mycotoxin Control

John A. Doerr, PhD

Let’s talk briefly about one way your cows defend themselves against mycotoxins.  Without getting too technical, 
in each absorptive cell (enterocyte) of the cow’s small intestine is a regulatory pathway that senses the presence
of absorbed mycotoxins, and then makes a type of transport protein that will capture that toxin and return it to 
the intestinal lumen.  We call those proteins “efflux transporters”, and mycotoxin efflux transporters have been 
known now for more than 15 years.  In a healthy animal, if one measures the total dose administered vs. the total 
dose absorbed, the latter is on the order of around 50% of the ingested toxin amount.  Super!  But that system 
works only when the mycotoxin molecules are, in fact, absorbed by those enterocytes, and thus, my reference to a 
healthy animal with a full complement of enterocytes.  What if they are not ‘healthy’?

One common malady affecting virtually all production animals is high amounts of inflammatory activity in the 
intestine.  A spot of inflammation on the intestinal villus essentially destroys the layer of enterocytes and 
leaves an open wound.  That leaves a route for toxin molecules to bypass the cow’s normal protective mechanism.  
Is that important?  A research report [Roth, R.A., et al. 1997.  Is exposure to bacterial endotoxin a determinant 
of susceptibility to intoxication from xenobiotic agents?  Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 147:300-311]  answered that 
exact question.  They found that inflammatory foci (spots) in the intestine result in a level of toxin that 
normally would be without effect to suddenly become very toxic to the animal.  That’s because the full dose is 
being absorbed.

Last month Chad Christensen provided you an article about Select BioCycle™.  He pointed out that one of the L-Form
bacterial lines in that product is a modulator of intestinal immune function.  A modulator! It optimizes antigen/antibody 
functions (cellular and humoral immunity) and it suppresses inflammatory response !  Select BioCycle™, therefore, can 
be used to control mycotoxin exposure when the total mycotoxin challenge in the feed is in the ‘low’ range.  That is 
because it will effectively suppress inflammation.  Less inflammation means less opportunity for those toxins to bypass 
the enterocyte’s control mechanism.  In essence you’ve cut a low mycotoxin exposure in half.

Questions?  Ask your Select Sires salesman or your Agrarian Solutions rep; and what a perfect time!  Select BioCycle™ 
is available on a promotional pricing basis until June 30, 2017.  Don’t miss out.

Unsure about those big words in the research article’s title?  Bacterial endotoxins, such as E. coli lipopolysaccharide 
(LPS) promote extreme inflammatory responses in test animals.  And “xenobiotic” is just a scientist’s term for poison.
A Virginia Tech study, still in progress, of this L-Form’s immune interactions has already given data indicating effective 
control of inflammation in the intestine.