Douglas Mader, a veterinary specialist in Marathon, Fla., was performing routine dental procedures on two cats when he noticed frothy blood within endotracheal tubes used to supply anesthesia to the animals. The veterinarian immediately stopped the procedures, but both animals died - one the following day, the other about two weeks later.
This family of mycotoxins causes multiorgan effects including emesis and diarrhea, weight loss, nervous disorders, cardiovascular alterations, immunodepression, hemostatic derangements, skin toxicity, decreased reproductive capacity, and bone marrow damage. In this chapter, we will concentrate on T-2 mycotoxin, a highly toxic trichothecene that, together with some closely related compounds, has been the causative agent of a number of illnesses in humans and domestic animals. During the 1970s and 1980s, the trichothecene mycotoxins gained some notoriety as putative biological warfare agents in Southeast Asia.