The Impact of Mycotoxicoses on Human History

  • Maja Peraica
  • Dubravka Rašić
Keywords: alimentary toxic aleukia, ergotism, putrid malignant fever, slow fever disease, tenth plague


Mycotoxicoses are acute or chronic diseases of humans and animals caused by mycotoxins, toxic compounds produced by moulds. Of about 400 known mycotoxins only a small number are known to cause mycotoxicoses in humans. Organs that are most targeted are those in which mycotoxins are metabolised, that is, the liver and kidneys, but the lesions may affect the neurological, respiratory, digestive, haematological, endocrine, and immune systems as well. The epidemics of mycotoxicoses are often connected with times of famine, when population consumes food that would not be consumed in normal circumstances. Mycotoxicoses have influenced human history, causing demographic changes, migrations, or even influencing the outcomes of wars. Fortunately, epidemics affecting so many persons and with so many fatalities belong to the past. Today they only appear in small communities such as schools and factory canteens. This paper presents epidemics and pandemics of mycotoxicoses that influenced human history.
How to Cite
Peraica M, Rašić D. The Impact of Mycotoxicoses on Human History. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol [Internet]. 1 [cited 2021Jan.19];63(4). Available from:

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