Although T-2 mycotoxin was not isolated until the 1960s, the first recorded outbreak was in Orenburg, Russia in the 1940s. Due to World War Two, there was delayed harvesting and inappropriate storage of wheat, as well as scarcity of food, resulting in the mass consumption of contaminated food. Those affected developed initial gastrointestinal symptoms, followed by bone marrow hypoplasia with leukopenia and haemorrhage. Thousands of people died. A similar condition in horses had been documented in Ukraine in 1931 and named alimentary toxic aleukia (ATA). In a global survey of mycotoxins in animal feed, T-2 mycotoxin was most commonly detected in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe. Climate, weather, and agricultural practices are strong determinants of mycotoxin contamination in food.
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