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Phylox® Performance Equals Salinomycin or Nicarbazin to Combat a Coccidia Challenge


To an industry looking for anticoccidial alternatives, Amlan International offers Phylox® (available in select international markets), a blend of natural ingredients, Phylox was developed to control coccidiosis without resorting to ionophores or chemicals. Dr. San Ching, a Technical Research Manager at Amlan International was instrumental in the development of Phylox. He had this to say about the development of Amlan’s new product to fight coccidiosis

We designed, Varium®, which provides excellent results reducing the damage from necrotic enteritis caused by toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens. However, our customers also needed a solution for coccidiosis, which is highly related to necrotic enteritis. Therefore, we developed, Phylox, which works to decrease the effects of the parasitic disease. When we started working on a coccidiosis solution, we soon realized that there was a resistance issue in many of the current alternatives, both for antibiotic ionophores and chemicals. Thus, for Phylox we used natural ingredients that would attack coccidia and the coccidiosis problem in more than one way and avoid the development of resistance. We know that the oocysts’ lifecycle is complicated, but most of it occurs in the gut. We selected ingredients that limit the development of the Eimeria oocysts in multiple ways. Additionally, we wanted to invent a product that can work seamlessly with the vaccines.”

Phylox has been shown to be successful in numerous research trials. In 2022, Amlan gave two presentations: A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control and A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs at the Scientific Forum of IPPE. These presentations represented seven experiments and show Phylox improved growth and immune function in broilers challenged with coccidia. Two additional experiments have been added as a final step in research and development, further proving the value of Phylox for birds facing a coccidia challenge.

In each of the two studies, the coccidia challenge was at day 14 when birds were given an oral dose of 100,000 oocysts of E. acervulina, 50,000 oocysts of E. maxima, and 75,000 oocysts of E. tenella.  The coccidia lifecycle is interesting and complex. Many coccidia species are host specific and do not cross from one host species to another. Several strains of coccidia affect chickens. These strains rise and fall in prominence, in part due to their ability to develop resistance to the chemical or antibiotic that is being used to control them. The three species used in these studies attach to different areas of the gastro-intestinal tract. E. acervuline causes lesions and damage to the upper third of the intestine – the duodenum and upper ileum, E. maxima causes lesions in the middle third of the intestine, and E. tenella cause lesions in the ceca.


In the first study, no coccidiosis vaccines or other coccidiosis medications were given. The treatments in the study consisted of both challenged and unchallenged birds with Phylox in the feed and challenged and unchallenged birds without Phylox in the feed. When a coccidia challenge wasn’t given, birds fed Phylox had the same gain and feed conversion as the control birds both for day 14 – 28 and the overall, day 0 – 28, experimental period (Figures 1 &2). This result proves that feeding Phylox doesn’t have a negative affect when a coccidia challenge isn’t present, which is a problem with some other coccidiosis preventatives.


Figure 1. Weight gain of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox in the feed.


Phylox improved performance in birds challenged with coccidia. Feeding Phylox improved feed conversion in the challenged birds. This was seen in both in the challenge period, day 14 – 28, and for the overall experimental period from day 0 – 28.


Figure 2. Feed conversion of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox.


Figure 3. Phylox has multiple ways to help prevent coccidiosis.


The improvement in feed conversion is because Phylox contains various active ingredients giving it multiple modes of action (Figure 3). This allows Phylox to protect the intestine during a coccidia challenge. First, it interferes with the cell membrane of the coccidia protozoa. Phylox binds to the sterols of the cell membrane, compromising the integrity of the sporozoite cell wall, the cell then dies by apoptosis. Phylox also interrupts the Eimeria lifecycle by preventing oocyst sporulation. By interrupting this step, the oocysts don’t develop from the immature noninfective form to the mature infective form. This disruption protects the intestinal cells from coccidial infection. Other ingredients included in Phylox provide energy to the endothelial cells that line the intestine. The protected intestine is better able to absorb necessary nutrients resulting in improved feed conversion. In addition to improved feed conversion, this protective ability is also shown by the decrease in lesion scores of the challenged birds fed Phylox. The lesion scores formed by each of the coccidia species used in the challenged decreased when birds were fed Phylox when intestines were examined on day 20 (Figure 4).


Figure 4. Lesion scores of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox in the feed.



In an experiment with a similar coccidiosis challenge model, Phylox was compared to using salinomycin or nicarbazin. These feed additives have commonly been used to decrease the effects of coccidiosis.



Figure 5. Weight gain of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.


Feeding Phylox resulted in weight gain and feed conversion equal to the salinomycin or nicarbazin treatments (Figure 5 & 6). This is the same result that was seen in the research presented by Dr. Ching at the 2022 IPPE Scientific Forum A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs. This result was observed both in the days following the challenge (day 14 – 28), and for the overall experimental period (day 0 – 28). All treatments had better feed conversion than the untreated birds.



Figure 6. Feed conversion of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.


Phylox reduced lesion scores for each species of coccidia and as an average of all species compared to the untreated challenge when intestines were examined on day 20. The reduction was equal to that of the ionophore and the chemical coccidiosis treatments. Feeding Phylox also decreased fecal coccidia oocysts counts equal to the decrease seen by feeding salinomycin or nicarbazin. Oocysts were counted in excreta collected from day 19 – 22.



Figure 7. Lesion score or oocyst counts of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.


Because Phylox contains various active ingredients it can fill in the gaps that are missing from other coccidiosis control methods. It can be used in No-Antibiotic-Ever programs with no withdrawal requirement. It is effective against multiple Eimeria strains without promoting the emergence of drug-resistant coccidia. And it can be fed with anticoccidial vaccines, preventing disease breakthrough while immunity is being developed by the bird.

Natural Phylox is not only equal to traditional ways of controlling coccidiosis but is equal in economic performance. Phylox can be used to combat coccidiosis in no-antibiotics-ever or traditional production.

Dr. Ching’s presentation of this research at IPPE in the poster session.

Talk to your Amlan representative on how to use Phylox in your production system.

Advanced Technologies to Mitigate Disease in Poultry Production

As more poultry producers incorporate antibiotic-free (ABF) practices into their operations, the need for innovative disease mitigation technologies has also increased. Amlan International is meeting this demand by developing next-generation products, using mineral-based technology, that optimize bird intestinal health and add value for the producer.


In this post we examine four technological advances that could help drive progress in managing disease, bacteria and toxins in flocks while meeting consumer demands for high-quality animal protein. We discuss the advanced mineral technology that is the foundation of Amlan’s natural feed additives as well as a unique diagnostic service offered by Amlan. We also highlight technology on the market from other (unaffiliated) companies that our team thought might be useful for ABF producers to consider when looking for new ways to manage disease in their flock.


  1. Optimize intestinal health with advanced mineral technology

In a crowded feed additive market, advanced mineral technology is the Amlan difference. As the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, Amlan’s scientifically proven products are backed by

Oil-Dri’s 80 years of experience in mineral science. The single-source raw material that is the core of Amlan’s products is calcium montmorillonite with high-capacity opal-CT lepispheres. Proprietary thermal processing — that does not use harmful chemicals — is tailored for each product to create unique functionalities.


Calibrin®-Z (available in select international markets) is a broad-spectrum biotoxin binder that protects poultry and livestock from biotoxins that reduce performance and cause morbidity or mortality. All-natural Calibrin-Z binds polar (e.g., aflatoxin) and nonpolar (e.g., zearalenone) mycotoxins, as well as bacterial toxins like those produced by C. perfringens, E. coli and C. difficile. Binding these biotoxins enhances intestinal health to improve feed efficiency and overall animal performance.


  1. Minimize production loss with timely mycotoxin diagnostic results

When determining whether feed is contaminated with mycotoxins, a fast and accurate analysis is critical for preventing the negative health and production effects mycotoxins can cause. Amlan has partnered with Envirologix, the world’s most trusted name for quantitative testing kits at the point of grain delivery, to bring producers . This program provides on-site quantitative mycotoxin detection results within 10 minutes. The test identifies mycotoxin contamination levels in the feed, and Amlan’s dose calculator can be used to determine the optimal dose of  to apply in the animal’s ration to mitigate the toxin threat.


  1. Automation technology increases animal welfare and detects disease

Robot automation in poultry barns is a growing segment of the poultry industry. Robotic technology uses sensors and 2D and 3D cameras to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as disinfecting barns, picking up floor eggs, vaccinating and managing litter.


Increasingly important in modern poultry operations, robotics can also help mitigate production risks and ensure animal welfare goals are met. Thermal imaging can be used to detect animal body temperatures, early disease indicators, record bird activity/welfare and report mortalities while performing their assigned tasks. Monitoring technology can also help producers observe environmental metrics in facilities such as temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide and ammonia levels. A recent development in this area is using sensors to determine when a poultry house smell is no longer “normal.” This technology could help identify a biosecurity or disease risk to a flock.


  1. Blockchain technology facilitates food traceability

Modern consumers are increasingly demanding to know more about how and where their food is raised. Blockchain technology, often in combination with other digital tech, helps track and trace animals and food products throughout the supply chain by linking small packages of data to provide a digital audit of meat production and food safety. At the farm level, these data points could include point of origin, veterinary and feed source records and transportation dates.


As poultry move through the food production system, blockchain technology records significant data points to ensure food supplies meet the traceability requirements that consumers demand. In the processing sector, for example, blockchain can link production information with the final product’s labeling and packaging information to ensure compliance with brand commitments. Blockchain offers incredible promise for connecting poultry growers with new market opportunities.


These emerging trends are important to monitor so producers can determine how best their operations can evolve and remain competitive. Investing in the right technologies will be the key to moving poultry producers to greater production, improved efficiencies,  enhanced market opportunities and increased profitability. At Amlan, we are developing and bringing to market advanced feed additive technologies that optimize the intestinal health and production efficiency of producers’ flocks while preserving the economic viability of poultry production. To learn more, click .




IPSF Presentations Further Support Phylox® Feed as Natural Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

Phylox® logo with microbiology background.

Coccidiosis is the most significant disease affecting poultry production, costing the global poultry industry approximately US$3 billion annually. Not only does coccidiosis damage the gut, resulting in reduced efficiency and profitability, but it also contributes to the development of other enteric diseases like necrotic enteritis. Traditionally, antibiotics or synthetic chemicals were used to control coccidiosis; however, consumer concerns over chemicals and drugs in the food chain have reduced their use in recent years. Therefore, poultry producers need a natural, research-backed alternative to chemical coccidiostats and antibiotics — like Phylox® Feed.

Phylox (available in select international markets) is a synthetic blend of bioactive phytochemicals that decreases the negative production and health effects of a coccidia challenge. The ingredients in Phylox contribute to its multiple modes of action which include damaging the coccidia cell structure, boosting anticoccidial immunity and improving general gut health.

Multiple studies have proven Phylox decreases gut damage in Eimeria-challenged broilers, resulting in improved growth and efficiency. Further analysis of some of these trials was presented at the 2022 International Poultry Scientific Forum (IPSF) in Atlanta, Georgia, as a six-trial meta-analysis comparing Phylox to a control diet in Eimeria-challenged broilers. Research was also presented at the 2022 IPSF on how Phylox affects the immune response and gut microbiome of broilers during a coccidia challenge. Summaries of these two IPSF presentations and links to the abstracts are below.


A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs

A meta-analysis of six in vivo trials that compared the performance and health effects of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis and fed either Phylox or a non-supplemented control diet was conducted. Persistent effects of Phylox on growth performance, fecal oocyst shedding and intestinal lesion score were examined.

Phylox improved gut health and performance while also decreasing coccidial lesion scores and oocyst shedding. Less gut damage means improved nutrient use — supporting greater weight gain and feed conversion. Two of the experiments included treatment groups that contained ionophores or anticoccidial chemicals for comparison. In these studies, Phylox delivered gut health results similar to salinomycin, nicarbazin, and Maxiban™ (narasin and nicarbazin), as determined by coccidial lesion scores and feed conversion.

This study supports previous research that shows the potential of Phylox as an alternative to the traditional coccidiostats in poultry production. The results are particularly noteworthy in an era when use of these traditional products continues to be reduced in favor of natural non-antibiotic and non-chemical solutions.


A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control

This research explored the potential effects of Phylox on host coccidial immunity, the composition and structure of the gut microbiome, and intestinal integrity of broilers challenged with experimental coccidiosis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype, ceca-cecal tonsil cytokine mRNA expression, gut microbiome of cecal content and duodenal/jejunum histopathology were examined.

Phylox Maintains Intestinal Immune System Protection

Most of a chicken’s immune tissue is in the gastrointestinal tract, helping to keep pathogenic substances out while allowing nutrients in. IL-10 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine with potent immunosuppressive effects. Coccidia can exploit these immunosuppressive properties, to help them survive in a relatively hostile environment, by increasing IL-10 during a challenge. This decreases the bird’s immune response just when it is needed. However, in this study, Phylox kept IL-10 from increasing during a coccidia challenge, stopping the coccidia from interfering with the bird’s immune response.

Preserved Microbiome Diversity

A disruption to the balance of the gut microbial community is often associated with a loss of microbiota diversity (Mosca et al., 2016). In the Phylox study, Eimeria challenge decreased the α-diversity (the mean species diversity at a local site) of the cecal microbiome, but Phylox returned it to its normal, unchallenged state. This result was for both richness (the total number of species) and evenness (the amount of each species). Additionally, feeding Phylox increased the relative amount of Blautia and L-Ruminococcus — producers of short-chain fatty acids that help the gut and the immune system maintain consistency regardless of challenges.

This study demonstrated that, in addition to damaging Eimeria cell structure and functional integrity, Phylox helps host defense mechanisms by boosting protective immunity against coccidial infection. This multimodal mechanism of action of Phylox contributes to an enhanced resistance to coccidial infection and improved bird productivity.

For more information on these studies or to trial Phylox Feed yourself, contact us at

Varium® Rivals Zinc Bacitracin in Maintaining Broiler Intestinal Health

Varium® logo with broilers in the background.

In some countries, the use of zinc bacitracin as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) in poultry is restricted due to concern over the increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. Restrictions in the use of AGPs in animal feeds like zinc bacitracin has spurred the development of natural AGP alternatives that keep birds healthy and growing efficiently.

Natural Performance Promotion

Varium® is a patented natural mineral-based feed additive that promotes efficiency and productivity in poultry. Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, the patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of ingredients that binds pathogenic bacteria and their toxins, provides an energy source for the growth of healthy and strong enterocytes and gently stimulates immunity cells. With multiple modes of action, Varium adds value for producers by replacing the need for multiple feed additives; it can provide the same benefits in one product thereby simplifying diet formulations and reducing costs.

Comparing Varium with Zinc Bacitracin

To demonstrate its effectiveness, Varium was directly compared to zinc bacitracin in a broiler study conducted by a university in Pakistan. In the trial, 180 Ross 308 chicks (10 chicks per pen, 6 pens per treatment) were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: control (0.01% zinc bacitracin), Varium 0.1 (0.1%) or Varium 0.15 (0.15%). The broilers were raised under normal production conditions, with the trial ending on day 35. Newcastle disease vaccine was administered to all birds on day 6 (intraocular and subcutaneous) and a booster (oral) was administered on day 21. Newcastle disease titers were measured on days 20 and 35 from 18 birds per treatment. Three birds per pen (18 total per treatment), randomly selected on day 35, and had small intestine morphology and bacterial counts in the small intestine and digesta measured.

Varium Protects Intestinal Health

The study showed that Varium was able to protect intestinal morphology better than zinc bacitracin. In Varium-fed broilers, a significant dose-response effect was observed for intestinal (jejunum) villus height and villi index (villus height to crypt depth) on day 35, with all Varium treatments significantly higher than the zinc bacitracin control (Figure 1). A similar dose response was observed with intestinal (jejunum) crypt depth; all Varium treatments were significantly lower than the control, and Varium 0.15 was significantly lower than Varium 0.1 (Figure 1).

Villus Height, Villi Index, Crypt Depth of broilers information.
Figure 1: Villus height, villi index and crypt depth of broilers fed either 0.01% zinc bacitracin (control) or Varium at 0.1 or 0.15%. Varium demonstrated a dose-response effect that indicated better ability to protect intestinal morphology than zinc bacitracin.


Varium was also able to protect the birds from necrotic enteritis to the same extent as zinc bacitracin. Necrotic enteritis was not found among any of the sampled birds on day 35. Lesion scores (0 to 4 scale) for the entire length of the small intestine were not different between treatments; however, Varium 0.1 had a better effect on intestinal elasticity than the other treatments.

Beneficial Bacteria Increase with Varium

Varium was able to promote colonization of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the population of pathogenic bacteria. Varium 0.1 had significantly more beneficial Lactobacilli than zinc bacitracin and Varium 0.15 had significantly more than all treatments (Figure 2). All Varium treatments decreased the population of Salmonella in the small intestine and digesta compared to zinc bacitracin (Figure 3).

Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 2: Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta was improved when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.
Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 3: Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta was significantly reduced when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.

A Better Immune Response

Varium also improved the immune response to vaccination. On day 20 and 35, Newcastle disease antibody titer (hemagglutination inhibition test) was significantly higher in all Varium treatments compared to zinc bacitracin. Previous research (contact Amlan for more details, has shown that feeding Varium during disease challenge can restore the expression of immune cells that are responsible for stimulation of an antigen-specific immune response and also increase phagocytic activity compared to the control group. This increased immune response, as well as the removal of bacterial toxins that can cause immunosuppression, are thought to be the reasons behind the increase in Newcastle disease antibody titers observed in the present study.

This study confirmed that Varium can be as effective as zinc bacitracin in promoting intestinal health. The doses of Varium at 0.1 and 0.15% performed equal to or better than zinc bacitracin for the parameters tested. For more information on how Varium can improve health, production efficiency and value, visit the Varium product page.

Calibrin®-Z Improves Dairy Cattle Health and Performance in Four Commercial Case Studies

Calibrin Z logo over feeding cows

If there’s one goal dairy cattle producers strive to achieve, it’s production efficiency. Reproductive efficiency, feed efficiency or overall milk production — dairy producers want their cows performing to their maximum potential. But for a cow to be efficient, she also needs to be healthy.

Dairy farmers around the world face a multitude of potential health challenges in their herds; from heat stress to bacterial disease to mycotoxin-contaminated feed, it’s a lot to manage. It’s unlikely that some of these health challenges can be completely avoided but mitigating them with a natural feed additive like Calibrin®-Z can go a long way to keeping cows healthier and more likely to achieve their production potential.

A Proven Biotoxin Binder

Calibrin-Z is a mineral-based feed additive that binds bacterial pathogens and their toxins, as well as mycotoxins, protecting dairy cattle from a broad spectrum of biotoxins that reduce performance and cause morbidity or mortality. A one-ingredient feed additive, Calibrin-Z is made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite with opal-CT lepispheres that undergoes proprietary thermal processing (tailored to the product) to promote the binding of multiple biotoxins in the intestine of dairy cattle. A healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthier, more productive cow.

Commercial Dairy Farms Recognize the Benefits of Calibrin-Z

In four commercial-based case studies, Calibrin-Z increased dairy herd performance for several key performance indicators against a wide variety of challenges and in diverse environmental conditions. In Mexico, two dairy farms, approximately 1,200 lactating cows each, were used in a four-month side-by-side study. The two farms shared silage, used the same diet formulation and feed ingredients, and the age, lactation period and condition of the cows were evenly distributed between the two farms. Mycotoxin analysis showed low mycotoxin concentrations during the trial, however, the potential to improve performance of the herd was still evident.

Adding Calibrin-Z to the ration increased milk production, enhanced feed efficiency, decreased somatic cell count and reduced death and abortion loss (Figures 1 and 2).

Milk production before and after Calibrin-Z info graphic.
Figure 1: Milk production was greater in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.01)


Somatic cell count info graphic.
Figure 2: Somatic cell count was lower in dairy cows fed Calibrin-Z (P < 0.001)


Calibrin-Z also improved the health of cows from two farms in Mexico that were experiencing other kinds of health challenges. One farm had high levels of mycotoxin contamination (T-2 and DON) and a high incidence of Clostridium in the region. Calibrin-Z was able to improve the general health and production of the herd and reduce death loss. Another farm had medium levels of mycotoxin contamination and was experiencing abnormally high abortions. Heat stress was also a factor on this farm. Calibrin-Z was able to reduce abortion loss, decrease cull numbers and improve the general health of the herd.

The fourth case study was conducted on two dairy farms located in the Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, where data collected over the 88-day study was compared to the previous year’s data. Feed samples showed medium levels of mycotoxin contamination at these farms. Calibrin-Z increased milk production, improved reproductive performance and decreased disease incidence (Figures 3 and 4).

Year over year milk production info graphic.
Figure 3: Calibrin-Z improved milk production in dairy cows compared to the previous year (P < 0.05).


Mastitis and enteritis info graphic.
Figure 4: Calibrin-Z reduced the incidence of mastitis and enteritis in dairy cows compared to the previous year.


These commercial case studies demonstrate the benefits Calibrin-Z can bring to a dairy cattle herd, no matter the level of disease or environmental challenges the farm is facing. To start your own Calibrin-Z trial or for more information about the benefits of using biotoxin-binding Calibrin-Z, contact us at


The Culture Behind Our Mineral Science

The culture behind our mineral science.

We’re innovators of natural mineral-based feed additives that optimize intestinal health and add value for animal protein producers. But that’s not the entire Amlan story. We’re grounded by our family roots, backed by vertically integrated mineral expertise and we bring mineral-based solutions to the animal production industry that are distinctly ours.

About Amlan info graphic.

Poultry Science Study Shows NeutraPath® Targets Salmonella Isolate Using Multiple Methods

NeutraPath® logo with packaged poultry in background.

Source: Xue H, Wang D, Hargis BM, Tellez-Isaias G. Research Note: Virulence gene downregulation and reduced intestinal colonization of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium PHL2020 isolate in broilers by a natural antimicrobial (NeutraPath™). Poultry Science. 2022 Mar 7:101822.

Reducing intestinal Salmonella colonization in poultry is a key strategy in controlling Salmonella contamination of poultry products and, in turn, lowering the incidence of salmonellosis in people. Subtherapeutic levels of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) can help control enteric pathogens like Salmonella, but restrictions in AGP use have created the need for antibiotic-free methods of reducing enteric pathogens in poultry.

A natural mineral-based feed additive that has previously shown action against Salmonella prevalence is NeutraPath® — a select blend of essential oils, fatty acids and a thermally processed enterosorbent mineral. A recent Poultry Science study investigated the antimicrobial effects of NeutraPath against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain PHL2020 (ST-PHL2020) and the effects of NeutraPath on ST-PHL2020 virulence gene expression.

The study showed that NeutraPath exhibited a potent antimicrobial effect against ST-PHL2020 and reduced its intestinal colonization. NeutraPath also modulated ST-PHL2020 virulence network development by downregulating mRNA expression of key virulence genes and blocking expression of downstream effectors involved in Salmonella invasion. Together, the results show that NeutraPath has the potential to reduce ST-PHL2020 intestinal colonization in broilers and downregulate key ST-PHL2020 virulence genes.

Read the full article

Mycotoxicosis: The Cause and the Natural Solution

Mycotoxin with Calibrin-Z.

Mycotoxicosis in production animals can range from mild to severe, depending on the animal species, the mycotoxins present, their concentration, the exposure duration, the animal’s health status and environmental factors. When multiple mycotoxins contaminate feed, they create a synergistic or additive effect, which amplifies the negative effects of each mycotoxin.

In most cases, the effects of mycotoxicosis can be insidious, resulting from long-term exposure to low levels of mycotoxins, which eventually leaves animals susceptible to disease. All mycotoxins can cause mortality in severe cases.

Natural Mycotoxin Defense Is Possible

The best way to help protect animals from the negative health and production effects of mycotoxicosis is to stop the absorption of mycotoxins in the animal’s gut. All-natural, mineral-based Calibrin®-Z protects poultry and livestock from mycotoxins (and bacterial toxins), ensuring healthier animals, more efficient nutrient absorption, better animal performance, and improved yields.

Calibrin-Z is made from a single-source mineral produced in the USA, providing consistent quality and product traceability. The unique physical and chemical properties of Calibrin-Z, together with Amlan’s proprietary thermal-processing method, promote the binding of multiple biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. Calibrin-Z also binds multiple bacterial exotoxins (e.g., Shiga-like toxin and NetB toxin) and endotoxins (e.g., LPS). Calibrin-Z is commercially available in select international markets and can be used alone or in combination with product from Amlan’s comprehensive range of feed additives.

Here we summarize the origin of the most significant mycotoxins affecting production animals and the health and costly production losses they can cause.


Aflatoxin is a polar (hydrophilic) mycotoxin produced by Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. There are multiple aflatoxin metabolites, including B1, B2, G1 and G2, with aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) the most potent and frequent cause of aflatoxin toxicity. Aspergillus targets crops like corn, wheat, cereal grains and cottonseed; and under the right temperature and moisture conditions (particularly hot and humid conditions) can produce aflatoxin in the field, during harvest or during storage.

Aflatoxin targets the liver and can cause liver damage and tumors in clinical cases. Sub-clinical cases usually present with reductions in feed intake, weight gain and productivity. More severe cases in poultry and swine can result in gastrointestinal tract dysfunction, immune system suppression or hemorrhaging.


One of the most common mycotoxins in poultry feed, zearalenone is a nonpolar (hydrophobic) mycotoxin produced by Fusarium. Zearalenone is found in crops like corn, barley and wheat and is often produced when temperatures alternate during grain maturation. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is regularly seen in combination with zearalenone in contaminated feed.

Zearalenone targets the reproductive organs of production animals (it mimics estrogen), causing severe reproductive dysfunction. Clinical cases in broilers will show comb and wattle enlargement and cloaca prolapse. Layers can have decreased egg production and quality, vent enlargement and cystic oviducts. Swine clinical cases can have reduced reproductive efficiency, increased abortion, fetal malformation and atrophy of the ovaries or testes.


Fumonisin is also produced by Fusarium, but it targets different organs, including the lungs and liver. Fumonisin primarily affects corn and is produced by Fusarium under a variety of environmental conditions (not just hot and humid conditions).

Sub-clinical symptoms of fumonisin contamination may not be seen in poultry, but clinical signs include reduced feed intake and body weight, lower egg weight, poor shell quality and abnormal pigmentation. Swine have reduced feed intake and weight gain in sub-clinical cases and can develop lung edema, liver damage, kidney damage and heart enlargement in clinical cases.

Deoxynivalenol (DON)

Also called vomitoxin, DON is another mycotoxin produced by Fusarium. DON is one of the most common mycotoxins to contaminate crops like wheat, corn and barley. As its alternate name suggests, DON targets the gastrointestinal tract, causing vomiting, feed refusal and diarrhea in swine, all contributing to reduced weight gain and poor feed efficiency. Severe cases can result in organ hemorrhage.


Trichothecene (T-2) and its metabolite HT-2 are produced by certain Fusarium strains in cereal grains. Unlike some of the other mycotoxins, Fusarium produces T-2 under moist and cold conditions (not hot conditions). T-2/HT-2 target the skin and epithelial cells, producing oral lesions that reduce both feed intake and weight gain. These mycotoxins can also suppress immunity and damage the pancreas, liver and heart.


Produced by both Penicillium and Aspergillus, ochratoxin contaminates crops like barley and wheat during storage more often than in the field. Sub-clinical symptoms of ochratoxin contamination include reduced feed intake and weight gain, while clinical signs include immunosuppression, liver damage (fatty liver) and kidney dysfunction, particularly in swine.

Why Choose Calibrin-Z?

Mycotoxicosis can reduce productivity and cause serious health effects, including mortality in severe cases. Mitigate mycotoxicosis with performance enhancing Calibrin-Z — a proven biotoxin binder that optimizes gut health, improves feed efficiency and boosts your bottom line, while meeting the social demands of consumers. For more information on mycotoxicosis or to view Calibrin-Z data from independent third-party trials, contact

Amlan Brings Value-Added Mineral Alternatives to Livestock Industry

Amlan team with Rural Radio Network logo graphic.

Source: Susan Littlefield, Rural Radio Network/KRVN, January 27, 2022

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America launched their first mineral-based product in 1941, and since then the range of unique minerals mined and processed by Oil-Dri have been used for many applications across diverse industries, including animal health. In an interview with Susan Littlefield from Rural Radio Network/KRVN, Amlan teammates Reagan Culbertson, Director of Strategic Branding and Communications, and Dr. Wade Robey, VP of Marketing and Product Development, discuss the history of the mineral technology that is the core of Amlan products. They also describe how Amlan’s mineral-based feed additives optimize gut health in poultry and livestock and improve production economics.

Listen to the interview here.