Samples of corn available as wildlife feed from retailers throughout Georgia (USA) were collected during April 1997 and analyzed for aflatoxin to determine if levels harmful to wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) were present. Three of 31 (10%) samples collected from a 40-country area were positive. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay qualitatively determined that two samples contained from 0 to 20 ppb aflatoxin. A chromatography analysis of a third sample measured 380 ppb total aflatoxin. A small percentage of our sample of wildlife feed collected during one season contained levels of aflatoxin that may cause harm to turkeys, especially poults. However, because aflatoxin levels ranging from 100 to 400 ppb may cause liver dysfunction and immunosuppression in turkey poults and other wildlife, grains known to be contaminated with aflatoxin at levels unacceptable for domestic animal feeds (≥100 ppb) should not be sold as wildlife feed. Further analyses of grains sold as wildlife feed should be conducted to address this potential problem.
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Vol. 37 • No. 3