ABSTRACT

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary fungal metabolites that contaminate feeds, and their levels remain stable during feed processing. The economic impact of mycotoxins on animal production happens mainly due to losses related to direct effects on animal health and trade losses related to grain rejection. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a trichothecene mycotoxin that has contaminated approximately 60% of the grains worldwide. Ingestion of DON induces many toxic effects on human and animal health. Detoxification strategies to decrease DON levels in food and feeds include physical and chemical methods; however, they are not very effective when incorporated into the industrial production process. A valuable alternative to achieve this aim is the use of lactic acid bacteria. These bacteria can control fungal growth and thus overcome DON production or can detoxify the mycotoxin through adsorption and biotransformation. Some Lactobacillus spp. strains, such as Lactobacillus plantarum, have demonstrated preventive effects against DON toxicity in poultry and swine. This beneficial effect is associated with a binding capacity of lactic acid bacteria cell wall peptidoglycan with mycotoxins. Moreover, several antifungal compounds have been isolated from L. plantarum supernatants, including lactic, acetic, caproic, phenyl lactic, 3-hydroxylated fatty, and cyclic dipeptide acids. Biotransformation of DON by L. plantarum into other products is also hypothesized, but the mechanism remains unknown. In this concise review, we highlight the use of L. plantarum as an alternative approach to reduce DON levels and toxicity. Although the action mechanism of L. plantarum is still not fully understood, these bacteria are a safe, efficient, and low-cost strategy to reduce economic losses from mycotoxin contamination cases.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • DON-contaminated diets impair human and animal health and are a food safety issue.

  • Biotransformation by Lactobacillus is a strategy to reduce levels of mycotoxins.

  • L. plantarum produces metabolites that can neutralize DON toxicity.

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