Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 26

Search results for: mycotoxins

26 The Comparation of Limits of Detection of Lateral Flow Immunochromatographic Strips of Different Types of Mycotoxins

Authors: Xinyi Zhao, Furong Tian


Mycotoxins are secondary metabolic products of fungi. These are poisonous, carcinogens and mutagens in nature and pose a serious health threat to both humans and animals, causing severe illnesses and even deaths. The rapid, simple and cheap detection methods of mycotoxins are of immense importance and in great demand in the food and beverage industry as well as in agriculture and environmental monitoring. Lateral flow immunochromatographic strips (ICSTs) have been widely used in food safety, environment monitoring. Forty-six papers were identified and reviewed on Google Scholar and Scopus for their limit of detection and nanomaterial on Lateral flow immunochromatographic strips on different types of mycotoxins. The papers were dated 2001-2021. Twenty five papers were compared to identify the lowest limit of detection of among different mycotoxins (Aflatoxin B1: 10, Zearalenone:5, Fumonisin B1: 5, Trichothecene-A: 5). Most of these highly sensitive strips are competitive. Sandwich structure are usually used in large scale detection. In conclusion, the mycotoxin receives that most researches is aflatoxin B1 and its limit of detection is the lowest. Gold-nanopaticle based immunochromatographic test strips has the lowest limit of detection. Five papers involve smartphone detection and they all detect aflatoxin B1 with gold nanoparticles. In these papers, quantitative concentration results can be obtained when the user uploads the photograph of test lines using the smartphone application.

Keywords: aflatoxin B1, limit of detection, gold nanoparticle, lateral flow immunochromatographic strips, mycotoxins

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25 Advances in Health Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins in Africa

Authors: Wilfred A. Abiaa, Chibundu N. Ezekiel, Benedikt Warth, Michael Sulyok, Paul C. Turner, Rudolf Krska, Paul F. Moundipa


Mycotoxins are a wide range of toxic secondary metabolites of fungi that contaminate various food commodities worldwide especially in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Such contamination seriously compromises food safety and quality posing a serious problem for human health as well as to trade and the economy. Their concentrations depend on various factors, such as the commodity itself, climatic conditions, storage conditions, seasonal variances, and processing methods. When humans consume foods contaminated by mycotoxins, they exert toxic effects to their health through various modes of actions. Rural populations in sub-Saharan Africa, are exposed to dietary mycotoxins, but it is supposed that exposure levels and health risks associated with mycotoxins between SSA countries may vary. Dietary exposures and health risk assessment studies have been limited by lack of equipment for the proper assessment of the associated health implications on consumer populations when they eat contaminated agricultural products. As such, mycotoxin research is premature in several SSA nations with product evaluation for mycotoxin loads below/above legislative limits being inadequate. Few nations have health risk assessment reports mainly based on direct quantification of the toxins in foods ('external exposure') and linking food levels with data from food frequency questionnaires. Nonetheless, the assessment of the exposure and health risk to mycotoxins requires more than the traditional approaches. Only a fraction of the mycotoxins in contaminated foods reaches the blood stream and exert toxicity ('internal exposure'). Also, internal exposure is usually smaller than external exposure thus dependence on external exposure alone may induce confounders in risk assessment. Some studies from SSA earlier focused on biomarker analysis mainly on aflatoxins while a few recent studies have concentrated on the multi-biomarker analysis of exposures in urine providing probable associations between observed disease occurrences and dietary mycotoxins levels. As a result, new techniques that could assess the levels of exposures directly in body tissue or fluid, and possibly link them to the disease state of individuals became urgent.

Keywords: mycotoxins, biomarkers, exposure assessment, health risk assessment, sub-Saharan Africa

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24 Induction of Hsp70 and Antioxidant Status in Porcine Granulosa Cells in Response to Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone Exposure in vitro

Authors: Marcela Capcarova, Adriana Kolesarova, Marina Medvedova, Peter Petruska, Alexander V. Sirotkin


The aim of this study was to determine the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total antioxidant status (TAS) and accumulation of Hsp70 in porcine ovarian granulosa cells after deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone (ZEA) exposure in vitro. Porcine ovarian granulosa cells were incubated with DON/ZEA administrations as follows: group A (10/10 ng/mL), group B (100/100 ng/mL), group C (1000/1000 ng/mL), and the control group without any additions for 24h. In this study mycotoxins developed stress reaction of porcine ovarian granulosa cells and increased accumulation of Hsp70 what resulted in increasing activities of SOD and GPx in groups with lower doses of mycotoxins. High dose of DON and ZEA had opposite effect on GPx activity than the lower doses. Slight increase in TAS of porcine granulosa cells was observed after mycotoxins exposure. These results contribute towards the understanding of cellular stress and its response.

Keywords: deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, antioxidants, Hsp70, granulosa cells

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23 The Impact of Mycotoxins on the Anaerobic Digestion Process

Authors: Harald Lindorfer, Bettina Frauz, Dietmar Ramhold


Next to the well-known inhibitors in anaerobic digestion like ammonia, antibiotics or disinfectants, the number of process failures connected with mould growth in the feedstock increased significantly in the last years. It was assumed that mycotoxins are the cause of the negative effects. The financial damage to plants associated with these process failures is considerable. The aim of this study was to find a way of predicting the failures and furthermore strategies for a fast process recovery. In a first step, mould-contaminated feedstocks causing process failures in full-scale digesters were sampled and analysed on mycotoxin content. A selection of these samples was applied to biological inhibition tests. In this test, crystalline cellulose is applied in addition to the feedstock sample as standard substrate. Affected digesters were also sampled and analytical process data as well as operational data of the plants were recorded. Additionally, different mycotoxin substances, Deoxynivalenol, Zearalenon, Aflatoxin B1, Mycophenolic acid and Citrinin, were applied as pure substances to lab-scale digesters, individually and in various combinations, and effects were monitored. As expected, various mycotoxins were detected in all of the mould-contaminated samples. Nevertheless, inhibition effects were observed with only one of the collected samples, after applying it to an inhibition test. With this sample, the biogas yield of the standard substrate was reduced by approx. 20%. This result corresponds with observations made on full-scale plants. However, none of the tested mycotoxins applied as pure substance caused a negative effect on biogas production in lab scale digesters, neither after application as individual substance nor in combination. The recording of the process data in full-scale plants affected by process failures in most cases showed a severe accumulation of fatty acids alongside a decrease in biogas production and methane concentration. In the analytical data of the digester samples, a typical distribution of fatty acids with exceptionally high acetic acid concentrations could be identified. This typical fatty acid pattern can be used as a rapid identification parameter pointing to the cause of the process troubles and enable a fast implication of countermeasures. The results of the study show that more attention needs to be paid to feedstock storage and feedstock conservation before their application to anaerobic digesters. This is all the more important since first studies indicate that the occurrence of mycotoxins will likely increase in Europe due to the ongoing climate change.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Feedstock conservation, Fungal mycotoxins, Inhibition, process failure

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22 New Bio-Strategies for Ochratoxin a Detoxification Using Lactic Acid Bacteria

Authors: José Maria, Vânia Laranjo, Luís Abrunhosa, António Inês


The occurrence of mycotoxigenic moulds such as Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium in food and feed has an important impact on public health, by the appearance of acute and chronic mycotoxicoses in humans and animals, which is more severe in the developing countries due to lack of food security, poverty and malnutrition. This mould contamination also constitutes a major economic problem due the lost of crop production. A great variety of filamentous fungi is able to produce highly toxic secondary metabolites known as mycotoxins. Most of the mycotoxins are carcinogenic, mutagenic, neurotoxic and immunosuppressive, being ochratoxin A (OTA) one of the most important. OTA is toxic to animals and humans, mainly due to its nephrotoxic properties. Several approaches have been developed for decontamination of mycotoxins in foods, such as, prevention of contamination, biodegradation of mycotoxins-containing food and feed with microorganisms or enzymes and inhibition or absorption of mycotoxin content of consumed food into the digestive tract. Some group of Gram-positive bacteria named lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are able to release some molecules that can influence the mould growth, improving the shelf life of many fermented products and reducing health risks due to exposure to mycotoxins. Some LAB are capable of mycotoxin detoxification. Recently our group was the first to describe the ability of LAB strains to biodegrade OTA, more specifically, Pediococcus parvulus strains isolated from Douro wines. The pathway of this biodegradation was identified previously in other microorganisms. OTA can be degraded through the hydrolysis of the amide bond that links the L-β-phenylalanine molecule to the ochratoxin alpha (OTα) a non toxic compound. It is known that some peptidases from different origins can mediate the hydrolysis reaction like, carboxypeptidase A an enzyme from the bovine pancreas, a commercial lipase and several commercial proteases. So, we wanted to have a better understanding of this OTA degradation process when LAB are involved and identify which molecules where present in this process. For achieving our aim we used some bioinformatics tools (BLAST, CLUSTALX2, CLC Sequence Viewer 7, Finch TV). We also designed specific primers and realized gene specific PCR. The template DNA used came from LAB strains samples of our previous work, and other DNA LAB strains isolated from elderberry fruit, silage, milk and sausages. Through the employment of bioinformatics tools it was possible to identify several proteins belonging to the carboxypeptidase family that participate in the process of OTA degradation, such as serine type D-Ala-D-Ala carboxypeptidase and membrane carboxypeptidase. In conclusions, this work has identified carboxypeptidase proteins being one of the molecules present in the OTA degradation process when LAB are involved.

Keywords: carboxypeptidase, lactic acid bacteria, mycotoxins, ochratoxin a.

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21 High Physical Properties of Biochar Issued from Cashew Nut Shell to Adsorb Mycotoxins (Aflatoxins and Ochratoxine A) and Its Effects on Toxigenic Molds

Authors: Abderahim Ahmadou, Alfredo Napoli, Noel Durand, Didier Montet


Biochar is a microporous and adsorbent solid carbon product obtained from the pyrolysis of various organic materials (biomass, agricultural waste). Biochar is distinguished from vegetable charcoal by its manufacture methods. Biochar is used as the amendment in soils to give them favorable characteristics under certain conditions, i.e., absorption of water and its release at low speed. Cashew nuts shell from Mali is usually discarded on land by local processors or burnt as a mean for waste management. The burning of this biomass poses serious socio-environmental problems including greenhouse gas emission and accumulation of tars and soot on houses closed to factories, leading to neighbor complaints. Some mycotoxins as aflatoxins are carcinogenic compounds resulting from the secondary metabolism of molds that develop on plants in the field and during their conservation. They are found at high level on some seeds and nuts in Africa. Ochratoxin A, member of mycotoxins, is produced by various species of Aspergillus and Penicillium. Human exposure to Ochratoxin A can occur through consumption of contaminated food products, particularly contaminated grain, as well as coffee, wine grapes. We showed that cashew shell biochars produced at 400, 600 and 800°C adsorbed aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2) at 100% by filtration (rapid contact) as well as by stirring (long contact). The average percentage of adsorption of Ochratoxin A was 35% by filtration and 80% by stirring. The duration of the biochar-mycotoxin contact was a significant parameter. The effect of biochar was also tested on two strains of toxigenic molds: Aspergillus parasiticus (producers of Aflatoxins) and Aspergillus carbonarius (producers of Ochratoxins). The growth of the strain Aspergillus carbonarius was inhibited at up to 60% by the biochar at 600°C. An opposite effect to the inhibition was observed on Aspergillus parasiticus using the same biochar. In conclusion, we observed that biochar adsorbs mycotoxins: Aflatoxins and Ochratoxin A to different degrees; 100% adsorption of aflatoxins under all conditions (filtration and stirring) and adsorption of Ochratoxin A varied depending on the type of biochar and the experiment conditions (35% by filtration and 85% by stirring). The effects of biochar at 600 °C on the toxigenic molds: Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus carbonarius, varied according to the experimental conditions and the strains. We observed an opposite effect on the growth with an inhibition of Aspergillus carbonarius up to 60% and a stimulated growth of Aspergillus parasiticus.

Keywords: biochar, cashew nut shell, mycotoxins, toxicogenic molds

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20 Bio-Detoxification of Mycotoxins by Lactic Acid Bacteria from Different Food Matrices

Authors: António Inês, Ana Guimarães, José Maria, Vânia Laranjo, Armando Venâncio, Luís Abrunhosa


Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play a key role in the biopreservation of a wide range of fermented food products, such as yogurt, cheese, fermented milks, meat, fish, vegetables (sauerkraut, olives and pickles), certain beer brands, wines and silage, allowing their safe consumption, which gave to these bacteria a GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status. Besides that, the use of LAB in food and feed is a promising strategy to reduce the exposure to dietary mycotoxins, improving their shelf life and reducing health risks, given the unique mycotoxin decontaminating characteristic of some LAB. Mycotoxins present carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, neurotoxic and immunosuppressive effects over animals and Humans, being the most important ochratoxin A (OTA), aflatoxins (AFB1), trichothecenes, zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisin (FUM) and patulin. In a previous work of our group it was observed OTA biodegradation by some strains of Pediococcus parvulus isolated from Douro wines. So, the aim of this study was to enlarge the screening of the biodetoxification over more mycotoxins besides OTA, including AFB1, and ZEA. This ability was checked in a collection of LAB isolated from vegetable (wine, olives, fruits and silage) and animal (milk and dairy products, sausages) sources. All LAB strains were characterized phenotypically (Gram, catalase) and genotypically. Molecular characterisation of all LAB strains was performed using genomic fingerprinting by MSP-PCR with (GTG)5 and csM13 primers. The identification of the isolates was confirmed by 16S rDNA sequencing. To study the ability of LAB strains to degrade OTA, AFB1 and ZEA, a MRS broth medium was supplemented with 2.0 μg/mL of each mycotoxin. For each strain, 2 mL of MRS supplemented with the mycotoxins was inoculated in triplicate with 109 CFU/mL. The culture media and bacterial cells were extracted by the addition of an equal volume of acetonitrile/methanol/acetic acid (78:20:2 v/v/v) to the culture tubes. A 2 mL sample was then collected and filtered into a clean 2 mL vial using PP filters with 0.45 μm pores. The samples were preserved at 4 °C until HPLC analysis. Among LAB tested, 10 strains isolated from milk were able to eliminate AFB1, belonging to Lactobacillus casei (7), Lb. paracasei (1), Lb. plantarum (1) and 1 to Leuconostoc mesenteroides. Two strains of Enterococcus faecium and one of Ec. faecalis from sausage eliminated ZEA. Concerning to strains of vegetal origin, one Lb. plantarum isolated from elderberry fruit, one Lb. buchnerii and one Lb. parafarraginis both isolated from silage eliminated ZEA. Other 2 strains of Lb. plantarum from silage were able to degrade both ZEA and OTA, and 1 Lb. buchnerii showed activity over AFB1. These enzymatic activities were also verified genotypically through specific gene PCR and posteriorly confirmed by sequencing analysis. In conclusion, due the ability of some strains of LAB isolated from different sources to eliminate OTA, AFB1 and ZEA one can recognize their potential biotechnological application to reduce the health hazards associated with these mycotoxins. They may be suitable as silage inoculants or as feed additives or even in food industry.

Keywords: bio-detoxification, lactic acid bacteria, mycotoxins, food and feed

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19 The Development of Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method for Citrinin Determination in Dry-Fermented Meat Products

Authors: Ana Vulic, Tina Lesic, Nina Kudumija, Maja Kis, Manuela Zadravec, Nada Vahcic, Tomaz Polak, Jelka Pleadin


Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by numerous types of molds. They can contaminate both food and feed so that they represent a serious public health concern. Production of dry-fermented meat products involves ripening, during which molds can overgrow the product surface, produce mycotoxins, and consequently contaminate the final product. Citrinin is a mycotoxin produced mainly by the Penicillium citrinum. Data on citrinin occurrence in both food and feed are limited. Therefore, there is a need for research on citrinin occurrence in these types of meat products. The LC-MS/MS method for citrinin determination was developed and validated. Sample preparation was performed using immunoaffinity columns, which resulted in clean sample extracts. Method validation included the determination of the limit of detection (LOD), the limit of quantification (LOQ), recovery, linearity, and matrix effect in accordance to the latest validation guidance. The determined LOD and LOQ were 0.60 µg/kg and 1.98 µg/kg, respectively, showing a good method sensitivity. The method was tested for its linearity in the calibration range of 1 µg/L to 10 µg/L. The recovery was 100.9 %, while the matrix effect was 0.7 %. This method was employed in the analysis of 47 samples of dry-fermented sausages collected from local households. Citrinin wasn’t detected in any of these samples, probably because of the short ripening period of the tested sausages that takes three months tops. The developed method shall be used to test other types of traditional dry-cured products, such as prosciuttos, whose surface is usually more heavily overgrown by surface molds due to the longer ripening period.

Keywords: citrinin, dry-fermented meat products, LC-MS/MS, mycotoxins

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18 Physicochemical Studies and Screening of Aflatoxins and Pesticide Residues in Some 'Honey Pastes' Marketed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Authors: Rashad Al-Hindi


The study aimed at investigating and screening of some contaminants in some honey-based products. Sixty-nine 'honey paste' samples marketed in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, were subjected to physicochemical studies and screening of aflatoxins and pesticide residues. The physicochemical parameters studied were mainly: moisture content, total sugars, total ash, total nitrogen, fibres, total acidity as citric acid and pH. These parameters were investigated using standard methods of analysis. Mycotoxins (aflatoxins) and pesticide residues were by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) according to official methods. Results revealed that mean values of the examined criteria were: 15.44±0.36%; 74±4.30%; 0.40±0.062%; 0.22±0.05%; 6.93±1.30%; 2.53±0.161 mmol/kg; 4.10±0.158, respectively. Overall results proved that all tested honey pastes samples were free from mycotoxins (aflatoxins) and pesticide residues. Therefore, we conclude that 'honey pastes' marketed in Jeddah city, Saudi Arabia were safe for human consumption.

Keywords: aflatoxins, honey mixtures, pesticide residues, physicochemical

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17 Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbent Assay Based Detection of Aflatoxin M1 and Ochratoxin A in Raw Milk in Punjab, India

Authors: Pallavi Moudgil, J. S. Bedi, R. S. Aulakh, J. P. S. Gill


Mycotoxins in milk are of major public health concern. The present study was envisaged with an aim to monitor the occurrence of aflatoxin M1 and ochratoxin A in raw milk samples collected from individual animals from dairy farms located in Punjab (India). A total of 168 raw milk samples were collected and analysed using competitive ELISA kits. Out of these, 9 (5.4%) samples were found positive for aflatoxin M1 with the mean concentration of 0.006-0.13 ng/ml and 2 (1.2%) samples exceeded the established maximum residue limit of 0.05 ng/ml established by the European Union. For ochratoxin A, 2 (0.1%) samples were found positive with the mean concentration of 0.61-0.83 ng/ml with both the samples below the established maximum residue limit of 2 ng/ml. The results showed that the milk of dairy cattle is safe with respect to ochratoxin A contamination but occurrence of aflatoxin M1 above maximum residue limit suggested that feed contaminated with mycotoxins might have been offered to dairy cattle that can pose serious health risks to consumers.

Keywords: Aflatoxin M1, health risks, maximum residue limit, milk, Ochratoxin A

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16 Differentially Response of Superoxide Dismutase in Wheat Susceptible and Resistant Cultivars against FHB

Authors: M. Sorahi Nobar, V. Niknam, H. Ebrahimzadeh, H. Soltanloo


Fusarium graminearum is one of the most destructive crop diseases in the world. Infection occurs during the flowering period in warm and humid conditions. It causes reduction in yield. Moreover, harvested grain is often contaminated with mycotoxins and its acetylated derivatives. Fusarium mycotoxines are potent inhibitor of protein synthesis, and thereby presents hazards for both human and animal health. A rapid production of reactive oxygen intermediates, primarily superoxide and hydrogen peroxide at the site of attempted infection considered as key feature underlying successful pathogen recognition. Here, we compared the time course activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) as a first line of defenses against ROS- induced oxidative burst between FHB- resistant Sumai3 and susceptible Falat at 48, 96 and 144 hours after infection. Our results showed that Sumai3 SOD activity increased with time and reached the highest-level 4 days after infection while in susceptible cultivar Falat, SOD activity decreased during the first 96 h. after infection. Decreased was followed by an increased at 6 days after infection. According to our results rapid induction of SOD activity in resistant cultivar may play an important role in resistance against FHB in wheat.

Keywords: Fusarium graminearum, mycotoxins, resistant cultivar, superoxide dismutase

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15 Reducing the Impact of Pathogenic Fungi on Barley Using Bacteria: Bacterial Biocontrol in the Barley-Malt-Beer Industry

Authors: Eusèbe Gnonlonfoun, Xavier Framboisier, Michel Fick, Emmanuel Rondags


Pathogenic fungi represent a generic problem for cereals, including barley, as they can produce a number of thermostable toxic metabolites such as mycotoxins that contaminate plants and food products, leading to serious health issues for humans and animals and causing significant losses in global food production. In addition, mycotoxins represent a significant technological concern for the malting and brewing industries, as they may affect the quality and safety of raw materials (barley and malt) and final products (beer). Moreover, this situation is worsening due to the highly variable climatic conditions that favor microbial development and the societal desire to reduce the use of phytosanitary products, including fungicides. In this complex environmental, regulatory and economic context for the French barley-malt-beer industry, this project aims to develop an innovative biocontrol process by using technological bacteria, isolated from infection-resistant barley cultures, that are able to reduce the development of spoilage fungi and the associated mycotoxin production. The experimental approach consists of i) coculturing bacterial and pathogenic fungal strains in solid and liquid media to access the growth kinetics of these microorganisms and to evaluate the impact of these bacteria on fungal growth and mycotoxin production; then ii) the results will be used to carry out a micro-malting process in order to develop the aforementioned process, and iii) the technological and sanitary properties of the generated barley malts will finally be evaluated in order to validate the biocontrol process developed. The process is expected to make it possible to guarantee, with controlled costs, an irreproachable hygienic and technological quality of the malt, despite the increasingly complex and variable conditions for barley production. Thus, the results will not only make it possible to maintain the dominant world position of the French barley-malt chain but will also allow it to conquer emerging markets, mainly in Africa and Asia. The use of this process will also contribute to the reduction of the use of phytosanitary products in the field for barley production while reducing the level of contamination of malting plant effluents. Its environmental impact would therefore be significant, especially considering that barley is the fourth most-produced cereal in the world.

Keywords: barley, pathogenic fungi, mycotoxins, malting, bacterial biocontrol

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14 Assessment of Milk Quality in Vehari: Evaluation of Public Health Concerns

Authors: Muhammad Farhan Saeed, Waheed Aslam Khan, Muhammad Nadeem, Iftikhar Ahmad, Zakir Ali


Milk is an important and fundamental nutrition source of human diet. In Pakistan, the milk used by the consumer is of low quality and is often contaminated due to the lack of quality controls. Mycotoxins produced from molds which contaminate the agriculture commodities of animal feed. Mycotoxins are poisons which affect the animals when they consume contaminated feeds. Aflatoxin AFM1 is naturally occurring form of mycotoxins in milk which is carcinogenic. To assess public awareness regarding milk Aflatoxin contamination, a population-based survey using a questionnaire was carried out from general public and from farmers of both rural and urban areas. It was revealed from the data that people of rural area were more satisfied about quality of available milk but the awareness level about milk contamination was found lower in both areas. Total 297 samples of milk were collected from rural (n=156) and urban (n=141) areas of district Vehari during June-July 2015. Milk samples were collected from three different point sources; farmer, milkman and milkshop. These point sources had three types of dairy milk including cow milk, buffalo milk and mixed milk. After performing ELISA test 18 samples with positive ELISA results were maintain per source for further analysis for aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) by High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Higher percentages of samples were found exceeding the permissible limit for urban area. In rural area about 15% samples and from urban area about 35% samples were exceeded the permissible limit of AFM1 with 0.05µg/kg set by European Union. From urban areas about 55% of buffalo, 33% of cows and 17% of mixed milk samples were exceeded the permissible AFM1 level as compared with 17%, 11% and 17% for milk samples from rural areas respectively. Samples from urban areas 33%, 44% and 28% were exceeded the permissible AFM1 level for farmer, milkman and of milk shop respectively as compared with 28% and 17% of farmer and milkman’s samples from rural areas respectively. The presence of AFM1 in milk samples demands the implementation of strict regulations and also urges the need for continuous monitoring of milk and milk products in order to minimize the health hazards. Regulations regarding aflatoxins contamination and adulteration should be strictly imposed to prevent health problems related to milk quality. Permissible limits for aflatoxin should be enforced strongly in Pakistan so that economic loss due to aflatoxin contamination can be reduced.

Keywords: Vehari, aflatoxins AFM1, milk, HPLC

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13 Detection and Quantification of Ochratoxin A in Food by Aptasensor

Authors: Moez Elsaadani, Noel Durand, Brice Sorli, Didier Montet


Governments and international instances are trying to improve the food safety system to prevent, reduce or avoid the increase of food borne diseases. This food risk is one of the major concerns for the humanity. The contamination by mycotoxins is a threat to the health and life of humans and animals. One of the most common mycotoxin contaminating feed and foodstuffs is Ochratoxin A (OTA), which is a secondary metabolite, produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium strains. OTA has a chronic toxic effect and proved to be mutagenic, nephrotoxic, teratogenic, immunosuppressive, and carcinogenic. On the other side, because of their high stability, specificity, affinity, and their easy chemical synthesis, aptamer based methods are applied to OTA biosensing as alternative to traditional analytical technique. In this work, five aptamers have been tested to confirm qualitatively and quantitatively their binding with OTA. In the same time, three different analytical methods were tested and compared based on their ability to detect and quantify the OTA. The best protocol that was established to quantify free OTA from linked OTA involved an ultrafiltration method in green coffee solution with. OTA was quantified by HPLC-FLD to calculate the binding percentage of all five aptamers. One aptamer (The most effective with 87% binding with OTA) has been selected to be our biorecognition element to study its electrical response (variation of electrical properties) in the presence of OTA in order to be able to make a pairing with a radio frequency identification (RFID). This device, which is characterized by its low cost, speed, and a simple wireless information transmission, will implement the knowledge on the mycotoxins molecular sensors (aptamers), an electronic device that will link the information, the quantification and make it available to operators.

Keywords: aptamer, aptasensor, detection, Ochratoxin A

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12 Food Safety in Wine: Removal of Ochratoxin a in Contaminated White Wine Using Commercial Fining Agents

Authors: Antònio Inês, Davide Silva, Filipa Carvalho, Luís Filipe-Riberiro, Fernando M. Nunes, Luís Abrunhosa, Fernanda Cosme


The presence of mycotoxins in foodstuff is a matter of concern for food safety. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by certain molds, being ochratoxin A (OTA) one of the most relevant. Wines can also be contaminated with these toxicants. Several authors have demonstrated the presence of mycotoxins in wine, especially ochratoxin A. Its chemical structure is a dihydro-isocoumarin connected at the 7-carboxy group to a molecule of L-β-phenylalanine via an amide bond. As these toxicants can never be completely removed from the food chain, many countries have defined levels in food in order to attend health concerns. OTA contamination of wines might be a risk to consumer health, thus requiring treatments to achieve acceptable standards for human consumption. The maximum acceptable level of OTA in wines is 2.0 μg/kg according to the Commission regulation No. 1881/2006. Therefore, the aim of this work was to reduce OTA to safer levels using different fining agents, as well as their impact on white wine physicochemical characteristics. To evaluate their efficiency, 11 commercial fining agents (mineral, synthetic, animal and vegetable proteins) were used to get new approaches on OTA removal from white wine. Trials (including a control without addition of a fining agent) were performed in white wine artificially supplemented with OTA (10 µg/L). OTA analyses were performed after wine fining. Wine was centrifuged at 4000 rpm for 10 min and 1 mL of the supernatant was collected and added of an equal volume of acetonitrile/methanol/acetic acid (78:20:2 v/v/v). Also, the solid fractions obtained after fining, were centrifuged (4000 rpm, 15 min), the resulting supernatant discarded, and the pellet extracted with 1 mL of the above solution and 1 mL of H2O. OTA analysis was performed by HPLC with fluorescence detection. The most effective fining agent in removing OTA (80%) from white wine was a commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon. Removals between 10-30% were obtained with potassium caseinate, yeast cell walls and pea protein. With bentonites, carboxymethylcellulose, polyvinylpolypyrrolidone and chitosan no considerable OTA removal was verified. Following, the effectiveness of seven commercial activated carbons was also evaluated and compared with the commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon. The different activated carbons were applied at the concentration recommended by the manufacturer in order to evaluate their efficiency in reducing OTA levels. Trial and OTA analysis were performed as explained previously. The results showed that in white wine all activated carbons except one reduced 100% of OTA. The commercial formulation that contains gelatin, bentonite and activated carbon reduced only 73% of OTA concentration. These results may provide useful information for winemakers, namely for the selection of the most appropriate oenological product for OTA removal, reducing wine toxicity and simultaneously enhancing food safety and wine quality.

Keywords: wine, ota removal, food safety, fining

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11 Monitoring of Sustainability of Extruded Soya Product TRADKON SPC-TEX in Order to Define Expiration Date

Authors: Radovan Čobanović, Milica Rankov Šicar


New attitudes about nutrition impose new styles, and therefore a neNew attitudes about nutrition impose new styles, and therefore a new kind of food. The goal of our work was to define the shelf life of new extruded soya product with minimum 65% of protein based on the analyses. According to the plan it was defined that a certain quantity of the same batch of new product (soybean flakes) which had predicted shelf life of 2 years had to be stored for 24 months in storage and analyzed at the beginning and end of sustainability plan on instrumental analyses (heavy metals, pesticides and mycotoxins) and every month on sensory analyses (odor, taste, color, consistency), microbiological analyses (Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, sulfite-reducing clostridia, Listeria monocytogenes), chemical analyses (protein, ash, fat, crude cellulose, granulation) and at the beginning on GMO analyses. All analyses were tested according to: sensory analyses ISO 6658, Salmonella spp ISO 6579, Escherichia coli ISO 16649-2, Enterobacteriaceae ISO 21528-2, sulfite-reducing clostridia ISO 15213 and Listeria monocytogenes ISO 11290-2, chemical and instrumental analyses Serbian ordinance on the methods of physico-chemical analyses and GMO analyses JRC Compendium. The results obtained after the analyses which were done according to the plan during the 24 months indicate that are no changes of products concerning both sensory and chemical analyses. As far as microbiological results are concerned Salmonella spp was not detected and all other quantitative analyses showed values <10 cfu/g. The other parameters for food safety (heavy metals, pesticides and mycotoxins) were not present in analyzed samples and also all analyzed samples were negative concerning genetic testing. On the basis of monitoring the sample under defined storage conditions and analyses of quality control, GMO analyses and food safety of the sample during the shelf within two years, the results showed that all the parameters of the sample during defined period is in accordance with Serbian regulative so that indicate that predicted shelf life can be adopted.w kind of food. The goal of our work was to define the shelf life of new extruded soya product with minimum 65% of protein based on the analyses. According to the plan it was defined that a certain quantity of the same batch of new product (soybean flakes) which had predicted shelf life of 2 years had to be stored for 24 months in storage and analyzed at the beginning and end of sustainability plan on instrumental analyses (heavy metals, pesticides and mycotoxins) and every month on sensory analyses (odor, taste, color, consistency), microbiological analyses (Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli, Enterobacteriaceae, sulfite-reducin clostridia, Listeria monocytogenes), chemical analyses (protein, ash, fat, crude cellulose, granulation) and at the beginning on GMO analyses. All analyses were tested according: sensory analyses ISO 6658, Salmonella spp ISO 6579, Escherichia coli ISO 16649-2, Enterobacteriaceae ISO 21528-2, sulfite-reducing clostridia ISO 15213 and Listeria monocytogenes ISO 11290-2, chemical and instrumental analyses Serbian ordinance on the methods of physico-chemical analyses and GMO analyses JRC Compendium. The results obtained after the analyses which were done according to the plan during the 24 months indicate that are no changes of products concerning both sensory and chemical analyses. As far as microbiological results are concerned Salmonella spp was not detected and all other quantitative analyses showed values <10 cfu/g. The other parameters for food safety (heavy metals, pesticides and mycotoxins) were not present in analyzed samples and also all analyzed samples were negative concerning genetic testing. On the basis of monitoring the sample under defined storage conditions and analyses of quality control, GMO analyses and food safety of the sample during the shelf within two years, the results showed that all the parameters of the sample during defined period is in accordance with Serbian regulative so that indicate that predicted shelf life can be adopted.

Keywords: extruded soya product, food safety analyses, GMO analyses, shelf life

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10 Incidence of Fungal Infections and Mycotoxicosis in Pork Meat and Pork By-Products in Egyptian Markets

Authors: Ashraf Samir Hakim, Randa Mohamed Alarousy


The consumption of food contaminated with molds (microscopic filamentous fungi) and their toxic metabolites results in the development of food-borne mycotoxicosis. The spores of molds are ubiquitously spread in the environment and can be detected everywhere. Ochratoxin A is a potentially carcinogenic fungal toxin found in a variety of food commodities , not only is considered the most abundant and hence the most commonly detected member but also is the most toxic one.Ochratoxin A is the most abundant and hence the most commonly detected member, but is also the most toxic of the three. A very limited research works concerning foods of porcine origin in Egypt were obtained in spite of presence a considerable swine population and consumers. In this study, the quality of various ready-to-eat local and imported pork meat and meat byproducts sold in Egyptian markets as well as edible organs as liver and kidney were assessed for the presence of various molds and their toxins as a raw material. Mycological analysis was conducted on (n=110) samples which included pig livers n=10 and kidneys n=10 from the Basateen slaughter house; local n=70 and 20 imported processed pork meat byproducts.The isolates were identified using traditional mycological and biochemical tests while, Ochratoxin A levels were quantitatively analyzed using the high performance liquid. Results of conventional mycological tests for detecting the presence of fungal growth (yeasts or molds) were negative, while the results of mycotoxins concentrations were be greatly above the permiceable limits or "tolerable weekly intake" (TWI) of ochratoxin A established by EFSA in 2006 in local pork and pork byproducts while the imported samples showed a very slightly increasing.Since ochratoxin A is stable and generally resistant to heat and processing, control of ochratoxin A contamination lies in the control of the growth of the toxin-producing fungi. Effective prevention of ochratoxin A contamination therefore depends on good farming and agricultural practices. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) including methods to reduce fungal infection and growth during harvest, storage, transport and processing provide the primary line of defense against contamination with ochratoxin A. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of mycological assessment, especially the mycotoxins in pork byproducts in Egypt.

Keywords: Egyptian markets, mycotoxicosis, ochratoxin A, pork meat, pork by-products

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9 Food Safety Aspects of Pesticide Residues in Spice Paprika

Authors: Sz. Klátyik, B. Darvas, M. Mörtl, M. Ottucsák, E. Takács, H. Bánáti, L. Simon, G. Gyurcsó, A. Székács


Environmental and health safety of condiments used for spicing food products in food processing or by culinary means receive relatively low attention, even though possible contamination of spices may affect food quality and safety. Contamination surveys mostly focus on microbial contaminants or their secondary metabolites, mycotoxins. Chemical contaminants, particularly pesticide residues, however, are clearly substantial factors in the case of given condiments in the Capsicum family including spice paprika and chilli. To assess food safety and support the quality of the Hungaricum product spice paprika, the pesticide residue status of spice paprika and chilli is assessed on the basis of reported pesticide contamination cases and non-compliances in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Union since 1998.

Keywords: spice paprika, Capsicum, pesticide residues, RASFF

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8 Morphological and Biological Identification of Fusarium Species Associated with Ear Rot Disease of Maize in Indonesia and Malaysia

Authors: Darnetty Baharuddin Salleh


Fusarium ear rot disease is one of the most important diseases of maize and not only causes significant losses but also produced harmful mycotoxins to animals and humans. A total of 141 strains of Fusarium species were isolated from maize plants showing typical ear rot symptoms in Indonesia, and Malaysia by using the semi-selective medium (peptone pentachloronitrobenzene agar, PPA). These strains were identified morphologically. For strains in Gibberella fujikuroi species complex (Gfsc), the identification was continued by using biological identification. Three species of Fusarium were morphologically identified as Fusarium in Gibberella species complex (105 strains, 74.5%), F. verticillioides (78 strains), F. proliferatum (24 strains) and F. subglutinans (3 strains) and five species from other section (36 strains, 25.5%), F. graminearum (14 strains), F. oxysporum (8 strains), F. solani ( 1 strain), and F. semitectum (13 strains). Out of 105 Fusarium species in Gfsc, 63 strains were identified as MAT-1, 25 strains as MAT-2 and 17 strains could not be identified and in crosses with nine standard testers, three mating populations of Fusarium were identified as MP-A, G. moniliformis (68 strains, 64.76%), MP-D, G. intermedia (21 strains, 20%) and MP-E, G. subglutinans (3 strains, 2.9%), and 13 strains (12.38%) could not be identified. All trains biologically identified as MP-A, MP-D, and MP-E, were identified morphologically as F. verticillioides, F. proliferatum, and F. subglutinans, respectively. Thus, the results of this study indicated that identification based on biological identification were consistent with those of morphological identification. This is the first report on the presence of MP-A, MP-D, and MP-E on ear rot-infected maize in Indonesia; MP-A and MP-E in Malaysia.

Keywords: Fusarium, MAT-1, MAT-2, MP-A, MP-D, MP-E

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7 Grains of Winter Wheat Spelt (Triticum spelta L.) for Save Food Production

Authors: D. Jablonskytė-Raščė, A. Mankevičienė, S. Supronienė, I. Kerienė, S. Maikštėnienė, S. Bliznikas, R. Česnulevičienė


Organic farming does not allow the use of conventional mineral fertilizers and crop protection products. As a result, in our experiments we chose to grow different species of cereals and to see how cereal species affects mycotoxin accumulation. From the phytopathological and entomological viewpoint, the glumes of spelt grain perform a positive role since they protect grain from the infection of pathogenic microorganisms. On the background of the above-mentioned infection, there were more Fusarium–affected grains of spelt than of common wheat. It can be assumed that spelt is more susceptible to the Fusarium fungi infection than common wheat. This study describes the occurrence of DON, ZEA and T2/HT2 toxin in a survey of spelt and common wheat and their bran as well as flour. The analysis was conducted using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. The concentrations of DON, ZEA, and T2/HT2 in Triticum spelta and Triticum aestivum are influenced by species, cereal type and year interaction. The highest concentration of mycotoxin was found in spelt grain with glumes. The obtained results indicate the significantly higher concentrations of Fusarium toxins in glumes than in dehulled grain which implicate the possible protective effect of spelt wheat glumes. The lowest DON, ZEA, and T2/HT2 concentration was determined in spelt grain without glumes.

Keywords: Fusarium mycotoxins, organic farming, spelt

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6 The Presence of Ochratoxin a in Breast-Milk, Urine and Serum of Lactating Women

Authors: Magdalena Twaruzek, Karolina Ropejko


Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of molds. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is the most common in the Polish climate. It is produced by fungi of the genera Aspergillus and Penicillium. It is produced as a result of improper food storage. It is present in many products that are consumed both by humans and animals: cereals, wheat gluten, coffee, dried fruit, wine, grape juice, spices, beer, and products based on them. OTA is nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic, potentially carcinogenic, and teratogenic. OTA mainly enters an organism by oral intake. The aim of the study was to detect the presence of OTA in milk, urine, and serum of lactating women. A survey was also conducted regarding the daily diet of women. The research group consisted of 32 lactating women (11 were the donors from the Milk Bank in Toruń, the other 21 were recruited for this study). Results of the analysis showed the occurrence of OTA only in 3 milk samples (9.38%). The minimum level was 0.01 ng/ml, while the maximum 0.018 ng/ml and the mean 0.0013 ng/ml. Twenty-six urine samples (81.25%) were OTA positive, with minimum level 0.013 ng/ml, maximum level 0.117 ng/ml and mean 0.0192 ng/ml. Also, all 32 serum samples (100%) were contaminated by OTA, with a minimum level of 0.099 ng/ml, a maximum level of 2.38 ng/ml, and a mean of 0.4649 ng/ml. In the case of 3 women, OTA was present in all tested body fluids. Based on the results, the following conclusions can be drawn: the breast-milk of women in the study group is slightly contaminated with ochratoxin A. Ten samples of urine contained ochratoxin A above its average content in tested samples. Moreover, serum of 8 women contains ochratoxin A at a level above the average content of this mycotoxin in tested samples. The average ochratoxin A level in serum in the presented studies was 0.4649 ng/ml, which is much lower than the average serum ochratoxin A level established in several countries in the world, i.e., 0.7 ng/ml. Acknowledgment: This study was supported by the Polish Minister of Science and Higher Education under the program 'Regional Initiative of Excellence' in 2019 - 2022 (Grant No. 008/RID/2018/19).

Keywords: breast-milk, urine, serum, contamination, ochratoxin A

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5 Ochratoxin-A in Traditional Meat Products from Croatian Households

Authors: Jelka Pleadin, Nina Kudumija, Ana Vulic, Manuela Zadravec, Tina Lesic, Mario Skrivanko, Irena Perkovic, Nada Vahcic


Products of animal origin, such as meat and meat products, can contribute to human mycotoxins’ intake coming as a result of either indirect transfer from farm animals exposed to naturally contaminated grains and feed (carry-over effects) or direct contamination with moulds or naturally contaminated spice mixtures used in meat production. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is mycotoxin considered to be of the outermost importance from the public health standpoint in connection with meat products. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of OTA in different traditional meat products circulating on Croatian markets during 2018, produced by a large number of households situated in eastern and north Croatian regions using a variety of technologies. Concentrations of OTA were determined in traditional meat products (n = 70), including dry fermented sausages (Slavonian kulen, Slavonian sausage, Istrian sausage and domestic sausage; n = 28), dry-cured meat products (pancetta, pork rack and ham; n = 22) and cooked sausages (liver sausages, black pudding sausages and pate; n = 20). OTA was analyzed by use of quantitative screening immunoassay method (ELISA) and confirmed for positive samples (higher than the limit of detection) by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Whereas the bacon samples contaminated with OTA were not found, its level in dry fermented sausages ranged from 0.22 to 2.17 µg/kg and in dry-cured meat products from 0.47 to 5.35 µg/kg, with in total 9% of positive samples. Besides possible primary contamination of these products arising due to improper manufacturing or/and storage conditions, observed OTA contamination could also be the consequence of secondary contamination that comes as a result of contaminated feed the animals were fed on. OTA levels obtained in cooked sausages ranged from 0.32 to 4.12 µg/kg (5% of positives) and could probably be linked to the contaminated raw materials (liver, kidney and spices) used in the sausages production. The results showed an occasional OTA contamination of traditional meat products, pointing that to avoid such contamination on households these products should be produced and processed under standardized and well-controlled conditions. Further investigations should be performed in order to identify mycotoxin-producing moulds on the surface of the products and to define preventative measures that can reduce the contamination of traditional meat products during their production on households and period of storage.

Keywords: Croatian households, ochratoxin-A, traditional cooked sausages, traditional dry-cured meat products

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4 Immunoprotective Role of Baker's Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) against Experimentally Induced Aflatoxicosis in Broiler Chicks

Authors: Zain Ul Abadeen, Muhammad Zargham Khan, Muhammad Kashif Saleemi, Ahrar Khan, Ijaz Javed Hassan, Aisha Khatoon, Qasim Altaf


Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites produced by toxigenic fungi, and there are four types of aflatoxins include AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is considered as most toxic form. It is mainly responsible for the contamination of poultry feed and produces a condition called aflatoxicosis leads to immunosuppression in poultry birds. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a single cell microorganism and acts as a source of growth factors, minerals and amino acids which improve the immunity and digestibility in poultry birds as probiotics. Saccharomyces cerevisiae is well recognized to cause the biological degradation of mycotoxins (toxin binder) because its cell wall contains β-glucans and mannans which specifically bind with aflatoxins and reduce their absorption or transfer them to some non-toxic compounds. The present study was designed to investigate the immunosuppressive effects of aflatoxins in broiler chicks and the reduction of severity of these effects by the use of Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). One-day-old broiler chicks were procured from local hatchery and were divided into various groups (A-I). These groups were treated with different levels of AFB1 @ 400 µg/kg and 600 µg/kg along with different levels of Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) 0.1% and 0.5 % in the feed. The total duration of the experiment was six weeks and different immunological parameters including the cellular immune response by injecting PHA-P (Phytohemagglutinin-P) in the skin of the birds, phagocytic function of mononuclear cells by Carbon clearance assay from blood samples and humoral immune response against intravenously injected sheep RBCs from the serum samples were determined. The birds from each group were slaughtered at the end of the experiment to determine the presence of gross lesions in the immune organs and these tissues were fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin for histological investigations. The results showed that AFB1 intoxicated groups had reduced body weight gain, feed intake, organs weight and immunological responses compared to the control and Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) treated groups. Different gross and histological degenerative changes were recorded in the immune organs of AFB1 intoxicated groups compared to control and Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) treated groups. The present study concluded that Baker’s Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) addition in the feed helps to ameliorate the immunotoxigenic effects produced by AFB1 in broiler chicks.

Keywords: aflatoxins, body weight gain, feed intake, immunological response, toxigenic effect

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3 Effect of Metarhizium robertsii in Rhipicephalus microplus hemocytes

Authors: Jessica P. Fiorotti, Maria C. Freitas, Caio J. B. Coutinho-Rodrigues, Mariana G. Camargo, Emily S. Mesquita, Amanda R. C. Corval, Ricardo O. B. Bitencourt, Allan F. Marciano, Diva D. Spadacci-Morena, Patricia S. Golo, Isabele C. Angelo, Vania R. E. P. Bittencourt


The bovine tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, is an arthropod of great importance in veterinary medicine leading to anemia, weight loss, animals' leather depreciation and also acting as a vector of many pathogens. In this way, the parasitism causes a loss of 3.24 billion dollars per year in Brazil. Knowingly, entomopathogenic fungi act as natural controller of some arthropods, acting mainly by active penetration through the cuticle. However, it can also act on the hemolymph and through the production of mycotoxins. Hemocytes are responsible for the cellular immune response and participate in the processes of phagocytosis, nodulation and encapsulation and may undergo changes when challenged by pathogens. The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in R. microplus hemocytes after inoculation of Metarhizium robertsii using transmission electron microscopy. The isolate ARSEF 2575 and 200 engorged R. microplus females were used. The groups were divided into control, in which the females were inoculated with 5 μL of sterile distilled water solution and 0.1% Tween 80, and a group inoculated with 5 μL of fungal suspension at the concentration of 10⁷ conidia mL⁻¹. The experiment was performed in duplicate and each group contained 50 females. Twenty-four hours after fungal inoculation, hemolymph was collected through the cuticle dorsal surface perforation of the tick females. After collection, the hemolymph samples were centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes at 4 °C, the plasma was discarded and the hemocyte pellet was resuspended in 50 μl PBS. The suspension material was fixed in 2% glutaraldehyde in Millonig buffer for three hours. After fixation, the material was centrifuged at 500 x g for 3 minutes, the supernatant was discarded and the cells were resuspended in a wash solution. Subsequently, the cells were post-fixed with 1% osmium tetroxide in phosphate buffer for one hour at room temperature and dehydrated in increasing concentrations of ethanol, and then embedded in Epon resin. The ultrathin sections were examined under the LEO EM 906E transmission electron microscopy at 80kV. The ultrastructural results revealed control group, the cells were considered intact, in which the granulocytes were observed with granules of different electrodensities, intact mitochondria and cytoplasm without vacuolization. In addition, granulocytes showed plasma membrane projections similar to pseudopodia. Plasmatocytes presented as irregularly shaped cells, with the eccentric nucleus, agranular cytoplasm and some cells presented pseudopodia. Nevertheless, in the group exposed to the fungus, most of the cells presented in degeneration. The granulocytes found had fewer granules in the cytoplasm and more vacuoles. Plasmatocytes, after treatment, presented many vacuoles also in the cytoplasm and the lysosomes presented great amount of electrodense material in their interior. Thus, the results suggest that the fungus has a depressant action in the immune system of the tick, not only by the cell degranulation, but also suggesting that this leads to morphological changes in the hemocytes and may even trigger processes such as phagocytosis.

Keywords: bovine tick, cellular defense, entomopathogenic fungi, immune response

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2 Multilocus Phylogenetic Approach Reveals Informative DNA Barcodes for Studying Evolution and Taxonomy of Fusarium Fungi

Authors: Alexander A. Stakheev, Larisa V. Samokhvalova, Sergey K. Zavriev


Fusarium fungi are among the most devastating plant pathogens distributed all over the world. Significant reduction of grain yield and quality caused by Fusarium leads to multi-billion dollar annual losses to the world agricultural production. These organisms can also cause infections in immunocompromised persons and produce the wide range of mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes, fumonisins, and zearalenone, which are hazardous to human and animal health. Identification of Fusarium fungi based on the morphology of spores and spore-forming structures, colony color and appearance on specific culture media is often very complicated due to the high similarity of these features for closely related species. Modern Fusarium taxonomy increasingly uses data of crossing experiments (biological species concept) and genetic polymorphism analysis (phylogenetic species concept). A number of novel Fusarium sibling species has been established using DNA barcoding techniques. Species recognition is best made with the combined phylogeny of intron-rich protein coding genes and ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the internal transcribed spacer of (ITS), which is considered to be universal DNA barcode for Fungi, is not suitable for genus Fusarium, because of its insufficient variability between closely related species and the presence of non-orthologous copies in the genome. Nowadays, the translation elongation factor 1 alpha (TEF1α) gene is the “gold standard” of Fusarium taxonomy, but the search for novel informative markers is still needed. In this study, we used two novel DNA markers, frataxin (FXN) and heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) to discover phylogenetic relationships between Fusarium species. Multilocus phylogenetic analysis based on partial sequences of TEF1α, FXN, HSP90, as well as intergenic spacer of ribosomal DNA (IGS), beta-tubulin (β-TUB) and phosphate permease (PHO) genes has been conducted for 120 isolates of 19 Fusarium species from different climatic zones of Russia and neighboring countries using maximum likelihood (ML) and maximum parsimony (MP) algorithms. Our analyses revealed that FXN and HSP90 genes could be considered as informative phylogenetic markers, suitable for evolutionary and taxonomic studies of Fusarium genus. It has been shown that PHO gene possesses more variable (22 %) and parsimony informative (19 %) characters than other markers, including TEF1α (12 % and 9 %, correspondingly) when used for elucidating phylogenetic relationships between F. avenaceum and its closest relatives – F. tricinctum, F. acuminatum, F. torulosum. Application of novel DNA barcodes confirmed the fact that F. arthrosporioides do not represent a separate species but only a subspecies of F. avenaceum. Phylogeny based on partial PHO and FXN sequences revealed the presence of separate cluster of four F. avenaceum strains which were closer to F. torulosum than to major F. avenaceum clade. The strain F-846 from Moldova, morphologically identified as F. poae, formed a separate lineage in all the constructed dendrograms, and could potentially be considered as a separate species, but more information is needed to confirm this conclusion. Variable sites in PHO sequences were used for the first-time development of specific qPCR-based diagnostic assays for F. acuminatum and F. torulosum. This work was supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant № 15-29-02527).

Keywords: DNA barcode, fusarium, identification, phylogenetics, taxonomy

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1 The Potential of Rhizospheric Bacteria for Mycotoxigenic Fungi Suppression

Authors: Vanja Vlajkov, Ivana PajčIn, Mila Grahovac, Marta Loc, Dragana Budakov, Jovana Grahovac


The rhizosphere soil refers to the plant roots' dynamic environment characterized by their inhabitants' high biological activity. Rhizospheric bacteria are recognized as effective biocontrol agents and considered cardinal in alternative strategies for securing ecological plant diseases management. The need to suppress fungal pathogens is an urgent task, not only because of the direct economic losses caused by infection but also due to their ability to produce mycotoxins with harmful effects on human health. Aspergillus and Fusarium species are well-known producers of toxigenic metabolites with a high capacity to colonize crops and enter the food chain. The bacteria belonging to the Bacillus genus has been conceded as a plant beneficial species in agricultural practice and identified as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Besides incontestable potential, the full commercialization of microbial biopesticides is in the preliminary phase. Thus, there is a constant need for estimating the suitability of novel strains to be used as a central point of viable bioprocess leading to market-ready product development. In the present study, 76 potential producing strains were isolated from the rhizosphere soil, sampled from different localities in the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Republic of Serbia. The selective isolation process of strains started by resuspending 1 g of soil samples in 9 ml of saline and incubating at 28° C for 15 minutes at 150 rpm. After homogenization, thermal treatment at 100° C for 7 minutes was performed. Dilution series (10-1-10-3) were prepared, and 500 µl of each was inoculated on nutrient agar plates and incubated at 28° C for 48 h. The pure cultures of morphologically different strains indicating belonging to the Bacillus genus were obtained by the spread-plate technique. The cultivation of the isolated strains was carried out in an Erlenmeyer flask for 96 h, at 28 °C, 170 rpm. The antagonistic activity screening included two phytopathogenic fungi as test microorganisms: Aspergillus sp. and Fusarium sp. The mycelial growth inhibition was estimated based on the antimicrobial activity testing of cultivation broth by the diffusion method. For the Aspergillus sp., the highest antifungal activity was recorded for the isolates Kro-4a and Mah-1a. In contrast, for the Fusarium sp., following 15 isolates exhibited the highest antagonistic effect Par-1, Par-2, Par-3, Par-4, Kup-4, Paš-1b, Pap-3, Kro-2, Kro-3a, Kro-3b, Kra-1a, Kra-1b, Šar-1, Šar-2b and Šar-4. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine the antagonists' effect statistical significance on inhibition zone diameter. Duncan's multiple range test was conducted to define homogenous groups of antagonists with the same level of statistical significance regarding their effect on antimicrobial activity of the tested cultivation broth against tested pathogens. The study results have pointed out the significant in vitro potential of the isolated strains to be used as biocontrol agents for the suppression of the tested mycotoxigenic fungi. Further research should include the identification and detailed characterization of the most promising isolates and mode of action of the selected strains as biocontrol agents. The following research should also involve bioprocess optimization steps to fully reach the selected strains' potential as microbial biopesticides and design cost-effective biotechnological production.

Keywords: Bacillus, biocontrol, bioprocess, mycotoxigenic fungi

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