Carryover of aflatoxin from feed to milk in dairy cows with low or high somatic cell counts

F. Masoero, A. Gallo, M. Moschini, G. Piva, D. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) residues in milk are regulated in many parts of the world and can cost dairy farmers significantly due to lost milk sales. Additionally, due to the carcinogenicity of this compound contaminated milk can be a major public health concern. Thirty-four lactating dairy cows were utilised to investigate the relationship between somatic cell counts (SCC), milk yield and conversion of dietary aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) into milk AFM1 (carryover (CO)). The AFM1 in milk increased as soon as the first milking after animal ingestion with a pattern of increment up to the observed plateau (between 7th and 12th days of AFB1 ingestion). There was a significant (P < 0.01) effect of the milk yield whereas no effect could be attributed to the SCC levels or to the milk yield x SCC interaction. Similarly, the main effect of milk yield was also observed (P < 0.01) on the total amount of AFM1 excreted during the ingestion period. Although the plasma concentration of gamma-glutamyl transferase was significantly affected by aflatoxin administration, levels of this liver enzyme were within the normal range for lactating dairy cows. The current data suggest that milk yield is the major factor affecting the total excretion of AFM1 and that SCC as an indicator of mammary gland permeability was not related to an increase in AFM1 CO.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1344-1350
Number of pages7
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxin M1
  • Aflatoxins
  • Dairy cows
  • Milk
  • Somatic cell count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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