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#771893 - 04/28/09 07:37 PM Aflatoxin study..
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
I'm looking for any researched information about aflatoxins in crickets, etc. Anyone have a link to an article or research site about how aflatoxins are formed in crickets and other bugs, along with the risks to sugar gliders.

I really appreciate any info on this topic. I need something professionally documented b/c i will be giving this to my vet as proof and information.

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#771968 - 04/28/09 09:54 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
In all honesty, I have been looking for the same thing. In trying to research Aflatoxins, I can't find any scientific data that says that insects carry the Aflatoxin on their DNA to infect either. (I'm not necessarily saying I don't believe it happens, but...)

I have found some information that says that the DNA in animals/humans may be affected and mutations may occur depending on where it settles. But other than milk products from animals that have ingested Aflatoxins, I haven't been able to find that the poisoning will pass on as a secondary infection. dunno

I am trying to figure out where the original idea came from and how it was determined.

Anyone out there that has had a glider die of Aflatoxin poisoning, did the vet doing the necropsy/histopathology actually FIND Aflatoxins somehow or just assume Aflatoxicosis or because of the appearance of the liver/organs or something similar?

Help from anyone would be appreciated.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#772393 - 04/29/09 05:33 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
anyone have any info about this??

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#772467 - 04/29/09 07:38 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
astronoc
Unregistered


A cricket breeder may be able to assist. They typically cater to the reptile community but some of them are hardcore knowledgable. Cricket forums is where I would start. You will probably have to make your own correlations between what you find and sugar gliders.

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#772556 - 04/29/09 10:55 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
jacknsally Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 03/30/05
Posts: 3224
Loc: North Fort Worth - TX
Laura_Leigh had a bunch of information on Aflaxtoxins and it attaching itself to insects dna.

Unfortnetly it appears that her site is no longer up and running with that info available.

I've left her a message on myspace, so maybe she can come in and offer that information
_________________________
Ñancy
~Always on my mind & in my heart Jack, Sally & Serenity~


Mobmilli's Boutique

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#772608 - 04/30/09 01:27 AM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
caelainn
Unregistered


I have yet to find any articles that specifically identify crickets. I would guess that it came to be because of these assumptions:

-crickets do eat corn
-corn is highly susceptible to fungi that produce aflatoxins
-corn (such as that in cricket feed) that is not screened for human consumption is more susceptible to being contaminated
-crickets could therefore eat contaminated corn
-some insects, particularly those that have high exposure to certain food that can be infected, develop resistance
-crickets would benefit if resistant to dangers of mycotoxins
-crickets could very likely fall into the category of insects that ingest mycotoxins, but don't die from them.

Here are some actual documented facts:

Mycotoxins are relatively stable and may survive most processing operations

And from:
Handbook of Applied Mycology
Mycotoxins in Ecological Systems
Deepak Bhatnagar Eivind B. Lillehoj Dilip K. Arora

...Presumably, where there is a selective advantage for insects to adapt to mycotoxins, whether this is because they are frequently encountered in the insect’s environment or because the insects are targeting material contaminated with these fungi as a food source, insects will develop resistance.

...some insects appear to be relatively resistant to mycotoxins, which may be the result of exposure-driven adaptation or actual adaptation driven by pursuit of the fungi as food.

I believe the only factual answer would come from someone feeding crickets aflatoxin-infected feed and seeing if
a) they died (this might happen quickly or there may need to be a certain level of accumulation in their system)
b)they didn't die and analysis detected aflatoxins

Unless a glider had no exposure to any feed (pellets, monkey biscuits - which all contain corn), one could not
rule out that as the source of aflatoxins.

Sure would be nice if there was a definitive source, but what I've read actually says there has only been one study in relation to insects and mycotoxins and that didn't include crickets.

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#772887 - 04/30/09 05:05 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
are there still ppl out there that actually feed crickets to their gliders??

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#772996 - 04/30/09 08:24 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
astronoc
Unregistered


I personally haven't heard of crickets being bad for sugar gliders so if that is the case, this type of information needs to come up every once in a while so us nOObs can be properly informed.

Is Aflatoxins the only issue with crickets? I havent fed mine crickets yet but was planning to as a treat. In fact, we have a reptile show coming up this weekend and was planning on buying some from local breeders that put good time and money on properly feeding crickets since they know it goes into other animals. I'd like to be informed before I purchase any crickets now.....

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#773044 - 04/30/09 09:59 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
caelainn
Unregistered


I've been raising crickets specifically to feed to gliders for almost a year now. I take a ton of very specific precautions to avoid aflatoxin. Quite a few people are buying crickets from me now here. On other forums, people aren't nearly as worried about aflatoxins and feed their gliders store bought crickets. Having been knee dip in the breeding bucket for quite a few months now, I have to say I wouldn't go that route as most crickets are kept in less than ideal conditions. To be able to make a real profit, you can't possibly feed them the high quality feed I do (specifically to up their protein level for a glider's sake) and keep them as clean as I do. I'd be glad to answer any specific questions you have or could send you my cricket info sheet if you like.

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#773068 - 04/30/09 10:38 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
AmyLynn
Unregistered


I have bought crickets from Kim and my gliders are fine and they love them. Her crickets to me look different than the ones we buy at Petsmart for our geckos. I would not feed my gliders crickets from any pet store.

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#773117 - 05/01/09 12:01 AM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: ]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I don't think the question is whether or not crickets eat/are introduced to mycotoxins, the question is whether or not something eating them can be infected when it is in their system.

With Aflatoxins and food grades, everyone should know that you are pretty much ingesting some low level of Aflatoxin here and there. There is an 'allowable amount' of Aflatoxin in human grade foods. Granted, it is a pretty low level, but it is not none at all. When feed like corn goes beyond the human grade level, there is another, higher 'allowable amount' for grain fed animals we use for food (like cows/pigs/similar). I cannot honesty recall now if there is a higher level for poultry or if they are lumped in with the grain fed animals. The 'allowable amount' is even higher for situations like insect farms. So crickets are most certainly coming in contact with Aflatoxin sometimes (as are we). BTW, milk/dairy products may also carry a type of Aflatoxin known as M1 which is a less dangerous mycotoxin than the 'usual' and most common Aflatoxin we are discussing - B1.

The reality is that a lot of the information out there about Aflatoxins has come from the sugar glider community. The myth that went strong for a couple of years that infected crickets bred more infected crickets (passed down genetically) came from us. I (and I know others, as well) have been trying to get to the root of all of this for a long time, but there just isn't much research specific to secondary exposure, it seems.

I do not doubt people that feel they have lost gliders to Aflatoxins, but I do know from past experience that some vets rule the death Aflatoxin related even though the animal in question had never had a single insect, and was not fed any corn/pellet that contained corn.

Laura_Leigh knows that Aflatoxin was most likely involved with her gliders because her pellet food tested positive for it (it wasn't about insects in that case). We know of cases of Aflatoxin with peanuts and we know of case with both crickets and mealworms where the assumed COD was Aflatoxin and the assumed reason were the insects (but as others have said, testing insects is apparently nearly impossible as far as we know at this point).

I do feed crickets sometimes. I fed about 30-40 per glider, every single night for over 2 years. They didn't have an issue with it, but I also knew that there was a possibility that they would (it was an informed decision). I know others that feed crickets on a regular basis, like most do mealworms - they have for years with no ill results.

I AM NOT suggesting that everyone start up feeding crickets again, but the more information we have and the more people looking into this the more likely we will be able to find an answer.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#773503 - 05/01/09 07:36 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
Thanks Gretchen. This makes my wonder about 2 things now...

1. If aflatoxins can form on the corn feed for insects, can it form on corn that humans would like?? I recent cut corn out of my gliders' diet due to my vet's request. However, was there a chance my girls could have gotten the aflatoxins from eating the frozen corn?

2. I have been using the dried meal worms from http://www.sugar-glider-store.com/ since i got my girls. I know this brand also sells dried crickets. If the meal worms do not have any repercussions, then wouldn't the crickets be the same? i am sure they are raised the same. Is it worth taking the chance?? Personal, i think crickets are discusting and don't want to touch them. If i can find an excuse not to feed them, like the aflatoxins I would be greatful.

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#773514 - 05/01/09 08:05 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
Originally Posted By: Snoopurr
1. If aflatoxins can form on the corn feed for insects, can it form on corn that humans would like?? I recent cut corn out of my gliders' diet due to my vet's request. However, was there a chance my girls could have gotten the aflatoxins from eating the frozen corn?

Yes, Aflatoxin can be present in ANY grain, nut, dairy product. There are allowable levels of Aflatoxin in human grade foods (which means that it is possible Aflatoxin is in/on foods that we would consume. It is more common in dried corn products, but the mold responsible can grow on fresh corn, cornstarch, corn flower, etc. It is also important to note that humans have a fairly high tolerance of Aflatoxins (where other animals including Sugar Gliders may not).

Originally Posted By: Snoopurr
2. I have been using the dried meal worms from http://www.sugar-glider-store.com/ since i got my girls. I know this brand also sells dried crickets. If the meal worms do not have any repercussions, then wouldn't the crickets be the same? i am sure they are raised the same. Is it worth taking the chance?? Personal, i think crickets are discusting and don't want to touch them. If i can find an excuse not to feed them, like the aflatoxins I would be greatful.


Honestly, these companies sometimes outsource for their supply of insects so we have no sure way of knowing how these insects are raised unless we know the original source.
BUT, in general, wholesale mealworms and crickets are not raised in the same way. Mealworms (seem to be) most often raised on oats and crickets are most often raised on corn mash. Corn does have a higher likelihood of growing the Aspergillus molds, which produce Aflatoxin, than other grains, which is why crickets are generally considered a higher risk.

At question (in my mind) is whether secondary exposure to Aflatoxin can still be harmful. (i.e. Sugar Gliders eating insects that have eaten contaminated foods)
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#773523 - 05/01/09 08:26 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
how long would it take for frozen corn to form aflatoxins? how long is the process and under what circumstances what it take for corn to grow aflatoxins?

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#773525 - 05/01/09 08:41 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
It is really hard to say for several reasons. First, just because mold grows, does not mean that the mold growing is a species of Aspergillus (thus Aflatoxin producing), it is just more common for Aspergillus to grow on foods like corn and nuts than it is to grow on other foods (like fruit, etc.).

For frozen food, I believe (and someone correct me if I am wrong, as I am not certain on this point) that mold growth becomes static when frozen (it stops growing). The concern is if the Aflatoxin is already present in that batch of corn. As with most human grade foods, they are batch tested for levels of certain things like Aflatoxin (esp. in the case of corn) and if the batch test is within allowable % levels, they are passed.

Aspergillus most often grows on dried corn, as I said, but if the season has been very wet, or the corn is not stored properly before being processed, even 'fresh' corn can grow Aspergillus.

The likelihood that your food grade corn has a significant level of Aflatoxin in it is not at all high, but the possibility is ever present and of more concern because we do not know the toxicity levels or tolerance levels specific to Sugar Gliders.
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#773864 - 05/02/09 05:04 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
ty for answering that.

Now, on my can of dried meal worms which i feed to my girls, it says "not for human consumption"
Do you think this means that the conditions in which those meal worms were raised were not ideal conditions and therefore could have been exposed to moldy feed?

If so, I don't think i want to use this brand anymore and should consider another source. However, I still only want to feed dried meal worms. I do not want to store live worms in my fridge and have to check up on them for aliens...
What would you suggest?

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#774107 - 05/03/09 09:07 AM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
CandyOtte Offline
Serious Glideritis

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 5138
Loc: Lutz Florida
LOL - I'm not sure any container of meal worms will say it IS for human consumption.

I have bought dried fruits for the gliders and my birds at the pet store that also say not for human consumption. The foods are all things that humans might eat so I think that disclaimer means it is not packaged or produced to the same standards as foods sold for human consumption.

There are a lot of processing/packaging plant standards and inspections that apply to human foods that do not apply to foods for pets.
_________________________
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& the Glider Kids
Sassy, Corky, Mehitabel & Missy
Wacco, Yacco, & Dot
Mindy, Kanobles, Elmo, & Chipper

http://www.gliderkids-diet.com

CandyOtte@aol.com

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#774108 - 05/03/09 09:13 AM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Snoopurr]
Trigger Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 10/07/07
Posts: 3970
Loc: Spring, Texas
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»-(¯`v´¯)-»MO MONEY!»-(¯`v´¯)-»
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www.jensfuzzyfriends.com

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#774129 - 05/03/09 10:35 AM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Trigger Offline
Glider Addict

Registered: 10/07/07
Posts: 3970
Loc: Spring, Texas
Originally Posted By: sugarlope


At question (in my mind) is whether secondary exposure to Aflatoxin can still be harmful. (i.e. Sugar Gliders eating insects that have eaten contaminated foods)


Yes secondary exposure is possible & that is why the government regulates the amount of contamination in feed for animals like cows, pork, fowl. We can be exposed thru eating the products of those animals that are fed contaminated grain, cheese, milk, eggs, meat.

http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/AflatoxinPoisoning.htm

page 2 discusses secondary exposure then talks about US regulation
http://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/lamicro/mi-2005/mi05-3_4k.pdf

Interesting info on treatment of dogs (lab studies done on other small animals)
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vet...e/detail/463956


Edited by Trigger (05/03/09 01:09 PM)
Edit Reason: added link
_________________________
»-(¯`v´¯)-»MO MONEY!»-(¯`v´¯)-»
kids Chance, Dylan, John, & Kayla
Skittles, Snupi, Snuki, Lucy, Shanu, Caspian, Ivy, Kalysta, Kaliya, Santee, Cheyenne, Apache, Comanche, Twirpy, Meribelle, Santeria, Shyamalan, Sebastian, Zoey, Naira & Katsu
www.jensfuzzyfriends.com

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#774216 - 05/03/09 02:31 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: Trigger]
sugarlope Offline
Glideritis Anonymous

Registered: 03/28/02
Posts: 19735
Loc: in my happy place
I don't think I explained myself properly here (my fault). I do not disagree that there is a secondary exposure threat in dairy products, I already commented on that. My primary question would be the thought that if something was ever exposed to Aflatoxins in the past (not recent exposure, as secondary exposure due to recent exposure to the insect (in this case) could be explained by levels of Aflatoxins that have not yet been integrated into the system. (If that makes any sense at all, except in my head roflmao ).

I have already read some of the links that you provided, Jennifer, and I agree, very interesting and good information. But the discussion was all related (at least from what I have read so far and what I understand from what I have read) to primary exposure or secondary exposure from dairy products, not from eating meat (unless the animals have been recently exposed to Aflatoxins).

Quote:
From this website: http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/AflatoxinPoisoning.htm
Calves should not receive milk from cows fed more than 20 ppb aflatoxin. Breeding cattle, swine and mature poultry should not exceed 100 ppb in their total ration. Finishing beef cattle and swine can tolerate grain up to 300 ppb aflatoxin. Animals should not consume any level of aflatoxin in their diet for at least three weeks prior to slaughter. Any grain with levels exceeding 1000 ppb should be destroyed and not be salvaged by blending with grain of lower concentrations.
FDA and USDA Allowable Aflatoxin Levels in Feed
20 ppb Lactating dairy animals
20 ppb Immature livestock
20 ppb Immature poultry
100 ppb Breeding cattle
100 ppb Breeding swine
100 ppb Mature poultry
100 ppb Finishing swine
100 ppb Finishing beef cattle


The levels higher than this (although it is mentioned, above, that breeding stock can tolerate up to 300ppb) have greater potential to cause the animal problems, from my understanding. The levels to dairy animals of 20ppb are more for our benefit because of risk of M1 exposure to us.

From this website;
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vet...p;sk=&date=
Quote:
ROUTE OF EXPOSURE

Most cases of aflatoxicosis occur when animals ingest moldy corn, peanuts, or other foods susceptible to contamination by Aspergillus flavus or Aspergillus parasiticus.7,8,12


It discusses that Aflatoxosis most often occurs from primary exposure to Aspergillus contaminated foods (granted the argument could be made that food animals risks are already reduced, so the reason we don't see secondary exposure in pets is because of the decreased liklihood already present in the meat). BUT, from everything I have read, exposure to Aflatoxins comes mostly from Aspergillus contaminated food (direct ingestion of Aflatoxin from at risk foods). As already stated the other way that humans/animals ingest Aflatoxins is the metabolized form, M1 or M2 from dairy producing animals.

I haven't read the pdf in your last post yet, so there may be something there that directly relates to levels of Aflatoxin in meat, but this computer is having issues with Adobe Reader right now, so I will have to read it on another before I can comment. smile


Edited by sugarlope (05/03/09 02:41 PM)
_________________________
~Gretchen
Maia & Squish
If we never loved, then maybe we would never feel pain. Love anyway. It's worth it.

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#774877 - 05/04/09 06:14 PM Re: Aflatoxin study.. [Re: sugarlope]
Snoopurr Offline
Glider Lover

Registered: 04/29/08
Posts: 386
Loc: West Babylon, NY
So when i went to my vet on sunday, i explained as much as i could to her about the aflatoxins in crickets. and she said it makes sense. so she's going to look into it further and in the meantime, she said not to feed crickets!

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