a disease of farm animals that results from ingestion of feed infected with certain fungi of the genus Penicillium, microorganisms that are widely distributed in the environment. Penicillia infect all feed at harvest time and during storage under conditions of increased humidity; they excrete toxic substances in the normal course of vital activity.
Penicillium toxicosis has been described in swine, cattle, and poultry and usually occurs in autumn and winter. Its clinical manifestations are varied and depend on such factors as the species of infected animal, the amount of absorbed toxins, and the species of pathogenic fungus. Accurate diagnosis is made by mycologic examination of feed. No specific treatment has been developed; however, strict sanitary measures with respect to feed can prevent the disease.