The aim of the present record was to study the effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on selected viscera (liver, spleen and gizzard) of laying Japanese quail under conditions of low level exposure, in view of the little information regarding the long term toxicity on this specie. Thus, four experimental groups of six commercial quails were constituted and given rations containing either 0 (controls), 25, 50 or 100mg aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)/kg feed, during 168 days. When compared to controls, birds from group 100mg.kg-1 presented low relative liver weight (p < 0.05). Histological changes were observed only in the livers, and all samples from quail exposed to AFB1 revealed moderate to severe hepatic cell vacuolation with fatty change, particularly in birds from groups receiving highest levels of toxin (50 and 100mg.kg-1). Bile duct hyperplasia occurred only in the birds exposed to 100mg.kg-1 of AFB1. The results indicated that long term administration of AFB1 at levels above 50mg.kg-1 can cause significant hepatic lesions in Japanese quail.
aflatoxin B1; toxicity; histopathology; quail