Among the naturally-occurring trichothecenes found in food and feed, T-2 toxin is the most potent and toxic mycotoxin. After ingestion of T-2 toxin into the organism, it is processed and eliminated. Some metabolites of this trichothecene are equally toxic or slightly more toxic than T-2 itself, and therefore, the metabolic fate of T-2 toxin has been of great concern. The main reactions in trichothecene metabolism are hydrolysis, hydroxylation and deep oxidation. Typical metabolites of T-2 toxin in an organism are HT-2 toxin, T- 2-triol, T-2-tetraol, 3-hydroxy-T-2, and 3-hydroxy-HT-2 toxin. There are significant differences in the metabolic pathways of T-2 toxin between ruminants and non-ruminants. Ruminants have been more resistant to the adverse effects of T-2 toxin due to microbial degradation within rumen microorganisms. Some plant species are resistant to T-2 toxin, while others are capable of its intake and metabolisation.
T-2 toxin, trichotecene, metabolic pathways, biodegradation, Fusarium
Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Agronomy, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic.