Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most abundant and important trichothecenes in food and feed, and it is a significant contaminant due to its frequent occurrence at toxicologically relevant concentrations worldwide. Deoxynivalenol has negative influences on the health and performance of chicks. However, there is little information available regarding the effect of DON on DNA fragmentation in blood lymphocytes. In addition, the effects of Mycofix select (Biomin GmbH, Herzogenburg, Austria) supplementation to DON-contaminated broiler diets on lymphocyte DNA have not yet been demonstrated. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to establish the effect of DON on lipid peroxidation and lymphocyte DNA fragmentation in broilers and to evaluate the potential of Mycofix select in the prevention of toxin-mediated changes. Thirty-two 1-d-old (Ross 308 male) broiler chicks were randomly divided into 4 groups. The control group was fed a noncontaminated diet, and a second group was fed the same diet but supplemented with Mycofix select (0.25%). A third group of broilers was fed a diet artificially contaminated with 10 mg of feed-grade DON/kg of diet, and a fourth group was fed a DON-contaminated diet supplemented with Mycofix select. At the end of the feeding trial, blood was collected and the degree of lymphocyte DNA damage was measured in the plasma by comet assay. Deoxynivalenol increased (P = 0.016) the amount of DNA damage in chicken lymphocytes by 46.8%. Mycofix select protected lymphocyte DNA from the DON effects. To our knowledge, these are the first data on genotoxic effects of a moderate dose of DON on chicken lymphocytes. However, the thiobarbituric acid reactive substances level in liver and liver enzyme activity did not differ among the groups. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that the diets contaminated with the mycotoxin DON at moderate levels in combination with low-protein feed are able to induce lymphocyte DNA damage in chickens. Supplementation with Mycofix select protected lymphocyte DNA and it was beneficial for maintaining the lymphocyte DNA integrity.
Animals Chickens/genetics* Chickens/metabolism Comet Assay/veterinary DNA Damage* Diet, Protein-Restricted/veterinary* Dietary Supplements Liver/drug effects* Liver/metabolism Male Mycotoxins/toxicity* Random Allocation Statistics, Nonparametric Thiobarbituric Acid Reactive Substances/metabolism Trichothecenes/toxicity*