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ABSTRACT: Healthy blood donors from the city of Zagreb were checked for the presence of a nephrotoxic mycotoxin ochratoxin A (OTA) in the plasma. Samples of blood were collected in June, September, and December 1997, and March 1998, totalling 200 or 50 in each round. The concentrations of OTA were measured using high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) method (detection limit 0.2 ng OTA/ml of plasma). The frequency of OTA-positive samples (>0.2 ng/ml of plasma) showed significant seasonal variation (P<0.001). The frequency of OTA-positive samples was the highest in March (65%) and it gradually decreased towards December (12%). The high frequency of positive samples coincided with seasons favouring growth of moulds and production of toxins. The daily intake of OTA by healthy persons in Zagreb was estimated from the mean concentration of OTA in samples collected during the whole year (0.19 ng OTA/ml plasma). The estimated daily intake was 0.26 ng/kg b.w., that is, substantially below the tolerable daily intake proposed by World Health Organization (16.0 ng/kg b.w.).
Archives of Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology (email@example.com); Vol.50 No.3.