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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    • "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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    • "Useful fungal metabolites include drugs, food colorants, feed additives, industrial chemicals , and biofuels (Bills, 1995; Bode et al., 2002; Firn and Jones, 2003; Butler, 2004). Fungi are also known for their negative consequences as contaminants of food and feed due to the production of mycotoxins which can be cytotoxic, immunotoxic, estrogenic, or carcinogenic (Miller, 2008; Shephard, 2008). Fungi can also cause invasive human infections, especially in immuno-compromised individuals (Larsen et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Having entered the Genomic Era, it is now evident that the biosynthetic potential of filamentous fungi is much larger than was thought even a decade ago. Fungi harbor many cryptic gene clusters encoding for the biosynthesis of polyketides, non-ribosomal peptides, and terpenoids – which can all undergo extensive modifications by tailoring enzymes – thus potentially providing a large array of products from a single pathway. Elucidating the full chemical profile of a fungal species is a challenging exercise, even with elemental composition provided by high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) used in combination with chemical databases (e.g., AntiBase) to dereplicate known compounds.This has led to a continuous effort to improve chromatographic separation in conjunction with improvement in HRMS detection. Major improvements have also occurred with 2D chromatography, ion-mobility, MS/MS and MS 3 , stable isotope labeling feeding experiments, classic UV/Vis, and especially automated data-mining and metabolomics software approaches as the sheer amount of data generated is now the major challenge. This review will focus on the development and implementation of dereplication strategies and will highlight the importance of each stage of the process from sample preparation to chromatographic separation and finally toward both manual and more targeted methods for automated dereplication of fungal natural products using state-of-the art MS instrumentation.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 02/2015; 6(71). DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00071 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    • "The infection of maize (Zea mays L.) by the fungal pathogen Aspergillus flavus results in the contamination of kernel tissues with carcinogenic mycotoxins produced during fungal secondary metabolism known as aflatoxins [1]. The contamination of maize kernels with aflatoxin poses a significant threat to human and livestock health and results in substantial economic losses annually [2]. Maize resistance to A. flavus infection is mediated by various defense proteins including b-1,3-glucanases, chitinases, glyoxalase I (GLX-I), pathogenesis-related proteins 10 and 10.1 (ZmPR10 and ZmPR10.1), "
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