The role of the poultry industry on kidney and genitourinary health in Pakistan

  • Salman Imtiaz
  • Ashar Alam
  • Beena Salman
Keywords: Kidney failure, Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology, Chicken industry, Environmental diseases, Non-communicable diseases, Genitourinary diseases


Pakistan is experiencing a “double burden’’ of disease. Under-development is associated with illnesses like infections and nutritional deficiency, and is accompanied with diseases linked with development, such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and chronic kidney disease. In Pakistan, renal and genitourinary diseases are an important, unaddressed health issues. Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) is a recognized form of renal failure in Pakistan. A possible cause of CKDu is toxins such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals associated with renal and genitourinary diseases. The poultry industry is an important source of both heavy metal toxins and also mycotoxins spread in the process of farming. Of the numerous mycotoxins, zearalenone and ochratoxin are well-known for their hazardous effects on genitourinary and renal parenchyma respectively. We reviewed the literature using PubMed and Google Scholar databases for levels of these toxins in various constituents of chicken farming like chicken feed, meat, litter and human drinking water contamination in various parts of the country. We found that these toxins are in higher levels than recommended.


How to cite this:
Imtiaz S, Alam A, Salman B. The role of the poultry industry on kidney and genitourinary health in Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci. Special Supplement ICON 2020. 2020;36(1):S67-S74. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Review Article