Seed Pathology pp 298-307 | Cite as

Impact of Seed-borne and Storage Fungi on Animal and Human Health

  • Paul Neergaard


Many diseases of animals, including man, are caused by seed pathogenic fungi, some by direct effect, others by consumption of foods made toxic by fungi. During the last 10–20 years the number of known mycotoxicoses recognised to be potentially important for the health of man and domestic animals has increased so that there is some improvement in the general understanding of the true impact of these diseases. Such diseases usually develop under characteristic circumstances. These are:
  1. (1)

    Accumulation of the pathogen in a limited space thus providing high concentrations of the causal agent, as spores dispersed in the air during harvesting or threshing of a contaminated crop, loading of contaminated grain, etc.

  2. (2)

    Development of increased sensitivity in man and animals by continuous exposure to such high concentrations of apathogenic agent, in the same way as the well-known allergic response to protracted exposure to air-borne spores, pollen, etc.

  3. (3)

    Grain, and other food stuffs, containing toxic metabolites which are not detectable by ordinary visual inspection.

  4. (4)

    Inefficient cleaning of seeds containing toxic fungi in the form of sclerotia such as ergot mixed with grains.



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Copyright information

© Paul Neergaard 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Neergaard
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Government Institute of Seed Pathology for Developing CountriesCopenhagenDenmark

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