Impact of mycotoxins on human health in developing countries

PROMEC Unit, Medical Research Council, Tygerberg 7505, South Africa.
Food Additives and Contaminants - Part A Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment (Impact Factor: 1.8). 03/2008; 25(2):146-51. DOI: 10.1080/02652030701567442
Source: PubMed


Adverse human health effects from the consumption of mycotoxins have occurred for many centuries. Although mycotoxin contamination of agricultural products still occurs in the developed world, the application of modern agricultural practices and the presence of a legislatively regulated food processing and marketing system have greatly reduced mycotoxin exposure in these populations. At the mycotoxin contamination levels generally found in food products traded in these market economies, adverse human health effects have largely been overcome. However, in the developing world, where climatic and crop storage conditions are frequently conducive to fungal growth and mycotoxin production, much of the population relies on subsistence farming or on unregulated local markets. The extent to which mycotoxins affect human health is difficult to investigate in countries whose health systems lack capacity and in which resources are limited. Aflatoxin B(1), the toxin on which major resources have been expended, has long been linked to liver cancer, yet its other effects, such as immune suppression and growth faltering previously observed in veterinary studies, are only now being investigated and characterized in human populations. The extent to which factors such as immune suppression contribute to the overall burden of infectious disease is difficult to quantify, but is undoubtedly significant. Thus, food safety remains an important opportunity for addressing current health problems in developing countries.

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    • "Still, the majority of African countries have no specific mycotoxins regulations . Even for the few countries with established regulations, enforcement is limited due to reliance on subsistence farming and home produced food (FAO, 2004; Shephard, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Knowledge on the presence of mycotoxins in Africa is fragmentary, although it can be assumed that both concentrations and prevalence in food commodities is high. The present study focuses on the presence of Fusarium species and their associated mycotoxins in maize from two geographically distant agro ecological systems in Tanzania. In a two-year survey, both Fusarium species and concomitant mycotoxins were surveyed in the Northern highlands (Hanang district) and the Eastern lowlands (Kilosa district). Parallel with this, a questionnaire on agricultural practices in both agro-ecosystems was included in this study. This allowed us to put the presence of the toxigenic Fusarium species and their mycotoxins within a relevant agricultural framework.
    Food Control 01/2016; 59. DOI:10.1016/j.foodcont.2015.05.028 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    • "The activity of antiporter proteins in the intestines depends on the presence of intestinal enzymes CYP3A4 and phase I isoenzyme, which plays a main role in detoxication (Sergent et al. 2008). In the last few years, scientific studies have focused on the mycotoxins that cause disease in the human population or worsen the health status of farm or companion animals (Shephard 2008). These mycotoxins are most often aflatoxin B 1 , ochratoxin A, tricothecenes (toxin T-2, deoxynivalenol, and diacetoxyscirpenol ), zearalenon, and fumonisins. "
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    • "F. graminearum Schwabe and F. culmorum (WG Smith) are the most relevant species of fungi causing the FHB disease often determining both severe reduction of crop yield and production of fungal secondary metabolites (e.g. DON) in grains which are mainly influenced by environment, genotype and management practices (Pestka and Smolinski 2005; Rocha et al. 2005; Shephard 2008; Váňová et al. 2008; Berthiller et al. 2009; Russel et al. 2010; Zain 2011). The susceptibility shown by durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf.) to the FHB disease is of particular concern in Italy due to the important role of this species in the " pasta " production. "
    Cereal Research Communications 06/2015; DOI:10.1556/0806.43.2015.010 · 0.61 Impact Factor
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