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Special Issue "Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins"

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A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Carlo Brera

Italian National Institute of Health (ISS), 00161 Rome, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +390649902377
Fax: +390649902363
Interests: risk/exposure assessment of mycotoxins; biomonitoring studies; monitoring plans on mycotoxins

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In accordance with the concept of “One Health” and “Exposome”, the protection of public health is becoming more and more important.

In this context, risk assessment, as a science-led process for establishing the likelihood of adverse effects to human health and the environment from exposure to risk sources, is facing new challenges, derived from emerging and re-emerging risks, as in the case of mycotoxins, which represent a real burden, worldwide, for both food security and food safety.

In the frame of risk assessment, exposure assessment represents a relevant issue in quantifying risks. In order to refer to reliable outputs, uncertainties, and variability, such as the restricted number of observations, the lack of consumption data and/or the use of improper consumption and occurrence databases, and other sources of error leading to the wrong conclusions for at-risk groups, such as infants, toddlers, children and adolescents, pregnant women, vegetarians, and immunodeficient subjects, have to be considered carefully.

In performing risk and exposure assessment studies, multiple approaches can be followed, such as deterministic vs. probabilistic (modeling), monitoring and/or surveillance programs, Total Diet Studies (TDS), and to continue the development of, and updating of, bio-monitoring studies. The use of biomarkers is proving to be very helpful in the assessment of dietary intakes and occupational exposure. All these issues need to be stressed and highlighted in an even more comprehensive way in order to attempt to associate the intake of mycotoxins with specific pathologies, emphasizing the ones occurring in developed countries where concomitant confounding factors are more present.

The focus of this Special Issue of Toxins will be on epidemiological evidence related to mycotoxin intake, the consideration of modified forms of mycotoxins in exposure assessment and risk characterization, the occupational risk related to mycotoxin-contaminated dust inhalation, the exposure of vulnerable population groups, and the outputs from TDS.

Dr. Carlo Brera
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • (re)emerging risks
  • modified mycotoxins
  • risk assessment, total diet studies
  • biomonitoring studies
  • occupational exposure
  • exposure of vulnerable groups
  • modeling approaches
  • food intake
  • monitoring/surveillance plans

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Survey of Aflatoxin-Producing Aspergillus sp. from Peanut Field Soils in Four Agroecological Zones of China
Toxins 2017, 9(1), 40; doi:10.3390/toxins9010040 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 October 2016 / Revised: 5 January 2017 / Accepted: 6 January 2017 / Published: 20 January 2017
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Abstract
Peanut pods are easily infected by aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp.ecies from field soil. To assess the aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp. in different peanut field soils, 344 aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus strains were isolated from 600 soil samples of four agroecological zones in China (the Southeast coastal zone
[...] Read more.
Peanut pods are easily infected by aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp.ecies from field soil. To assess the aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp. in different peanut field soils, 344 aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus strains were isolated from 600 soil samples of four agroecological zones in China (the Southeast coastal zone (SEC), the Yangtze River zone (YZR), the Yellow River zone (YR) and the Northeast zone (NE)). Nearly 94.2% (324/344) of strains were A. flavus and 5.8% (20/344) of strains were A. parasiticus. YZR had the highest population density of Aspergillus sp. and positive rate of aflatoxin production in isolated strains (1039.3 cfu·g−1, 80.7%), the second was SEC (191.5 cfu·g−1, 48.7%), the third was YR (26.5 cfu·g−1, 22.7%), and the last was NE (2.4 cfu·g−1, 6.6%). The highest risk of AFB1 contamination on peanut was in YZR which had the largest number of AFB1 producing isolates in 1g soil, followed by SEC and YR, and the lowest was NE. The potential risk of AFB1 contamination in peanuts can increase with increasing population density and a positive rate of aflatoxin-producing Aspergillus sp. in field soils, suggesting that reducing aflatoxigenic Aspergillus sp. in field soils could prevent AFB1 contamination in peanuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Gestational Zearalenone Exposure Causes Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity in Pregnant Rats and Female Offspring
Toxins 2017, 9(1), 21; doi:10.3390/toxins9010021
Received: 3 December 2016 / Revised: 29 December 2016 / Accepted: 30 December 2016 / Published: 5 January 2017
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Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEN) is an oestrogenic mycotoxin commonly found in food and feed products and can affect reproduction and development in both humans and animals. This study aimed to determine the toxic effects of ZEN on maternal SD rats and the F1 female offspring.
[...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEN) is an oestrogenic mycotoxin commonly found in food and feed products and can affect reproduction and development in both humans and animals. This study aimed to determine the toxic effects of ZEN on maternal SD rats and the F1 female offspring. Sixty-four pregnant rats were divided into 4 groups and exposed to feed contaminated with ZEN (0, 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg feed) on gestational days (GDs) 0–21. Compared with the controls, the groups exposed to 10 and 20 mg/kg ZEN showed significantly decreased feed intake and body weight of pregnant rats and/or female offspring. Meanwhile, 20 mg/kg ZEN significantly decreased the birth weight and viability of F1 newborn rats. Moreover, 10 and 20 mg/kg ZEN diets increased follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations but decreased oestradiol in both maternal and F1 adult rats. In the F1 generation, ZEN caused no pathological changes in ovaries and uterus in weaned rats, but significant follicular atresia and a thinning uterine layer were found in F1 female adult rats in the 20 mg/kg ZEN group. These impairments concurred with the inhibited mRNA and protein levels of oestrogen receptor-alpha (Esr1) and 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD) in the adult uterus and/or ovaries. Furthermore, 10 and/or 20 mg/kg ZEN exposure significantly reduced Esr1, gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHr), and ATP binding cassette transporters b1 and c1 (ABCb1 and ABCc1) in the placenta and foetal and weaned F1 brains, and also produced a dose-dependent increase in 3β-HSD in the placenta. Additionally, 20 mg/kg ZEN significantly upregulated ABCc5 expression in the placenta and ovaries of weaned rats. These results suggested that prenatal ZEN exposure in rats affected maternal and foetal development and may lead to long-term reproductive impairment in F1 adult females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Are Treated Celiac Patients at Risk for Mycotoxins? An Italian Case-Study
Toxins 2017, 9(1), 11; doi:10.3390/toxins9010011
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 20 December 2016 / Published: 28 December 2016
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Abstract
Urinary biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure were evaluated in a group of celiac patients (n = 55) and in a control group of healthy subjects (n = 50) following their habitual diet. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), and fumonisin B1 (FB1) were monitored
[...] Read more.
Urinary biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure were evaluated in a group of celiac patients (n = 55) and in a control group of healthy subjects (n = 50) following their habitual diet. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN), and fumonisin B1 (FB1) were monitored in 105 urinary samples collected from the two groups. Dietary habits were also recorded through compilation of a seven-day weighed dietary diary. Biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure were detected in 21 celiac patients and in 15 control subjects, corresponding to about 34% of total participants. In particular, ZEN was the most detected mycotoxin among all the studied subjects with a total of 19 positive cases. Results did not show a statistically significant difference in mycotoxin exposure between the two groups, and the presence of specific mycotoxins was not related to the intake of any particular food category. Our findings suggest little urgency of specific regulation for gluten free products, although the prevalence of exposure observed in free-living diets of both celiac and healthy subjects underlines the need of a constant surveillance on mycotoxins occurrence at large. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Frequent Occupational Exposure to Fusarium Mycotoxins of Workers in the Swiss Grain Industry
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 370; doi:10.3390/toxins8120370
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 7 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 12 December 2016
PDF Full-text (1055 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Type B trichotecens such as deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins contaminating wheat and wheat dust. Mycotoxins are toxic upon ingestion and considered potentially toxic when inhaled. Whereas dietary exposure to mycotoxins is controlled in food,
[...] Read more.
Type B trichotecens such as deoxynivalenol (DON), 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-ADON), 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-ADON), nivalenol (NIV) and zearalenone (ZEN) are mycotoxins contaminating wheat and wheat dust. Mycotoxins are toxic upon ingestion and considered potentially toxic when inhaled. Whereas dietary exposure to mycotoxins is controlled in food, data on occupational exposure by inhalation by grain workers are scarce. The objectives of this study were to determine the incidence of DON, 3-ADON, 15-ADON, NIV and ZEN in aerosols generated during grain harvesting and unloading and the risk of exposure of grain workers. Aerosols were collected during the threshing of 78 winter wheat fields and grain unloading of 59 grain lots in six grain terminals in the Vaud region (Switzerland). The samples represented the diversity of the winter wheat cultivar and of the farming system (88 treated with fungicides, 46 untreated). Using a HPLC MS/MS method developed to quantify mycotoxins in aerosols, we report that the mycotoxin content of aerosols was not affected by the wheat cultivars or farming system, but that the incidence of the mycotoxins differed between activities. While wheat harvesting generated on average 28, 20 and 1 ng·m−3 of DON, NIV and ZEN, respectively, grain unloading generated 53, 46 and 4 ng·m−3. Personal sampling revealed that working in a cab was an efficient protective measure. However, it was not sufficient to avoid chronic exposure to multiple mycotoxins. The most exposed activity was the cleaning, exposing workers to DON, NIV and ZEN at concentrations as high as 65, 59 and 3 ng·m−3. These data provide valuable information for future studies of mycotoxin toxicity at relevant concentrations on respiratory health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Exposure Assessment of Infants to Aflatoxin M1 through Consumption of Breast Milk and Infant Powdered Milk in Brazil
Toxins 2016, 8(9), 246; doi:10.3390/toxins8090246
Received: 7 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
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Abstract
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is an important biomarker that can be used to evaluate aflatoxin exposure in both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the exposure degree of infants to AFM1 through consumption of breast
[...] Read more.
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is an important biomarker that can be used to evaluate aflatoxin exposure in both humans and animals. The aim of this study was to evaluate the exposure degree of infants to AFM1 through consumption of breast milk and infant powdered milk in Brazil. For this purpose, the estimated daily intake (EDI) for infants was calculated based on the AFM1 levels analyzed in 94 breast milk (BM) samples collected in Southern Brazil, and 16 infant powdered milk (IPM) samples commonly commercialized in Brazil. AFM1 was detected in 5.3% (n = 5) and 43.8% (n = 7) of BM and IPM samples, with mean levels of 0.003 ng/g and 0.011 ng/g, respectively. All the IPM samples showed AFM1 levels lower than those established by the Brazilian guidelines (5 ng/g), and in most of the samples (81.25%) levels were below the maximum limit tolerated by the European Commission (0.025 ng/g). The EDI of AFM1 for infants aged zero to 12 months old showed values from 0.018 to 0.069 ng/kg body weight/day for BM, and 0.078 to 0.306 ng/kg body weight/day for IPM. Hazard index (HI) values for BM and IPM were less than one, except for IPM intended for infants up to one month. In conclusion, the exposure of infants to AFM1 was low, but continuous monitoring of mycotoxin levels is essential to minimize infant health risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Occurrence of Fusarium langsethiae and T-2 and HT-2 Toxins in Italian Malting Barley
Toxins 2016, 8(8), 247; doi:10.3390/toxins8080247
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 8 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 20 August 2016
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Abstract
T-2 and HT-2 toxins are two of the most toxic members of type-A trichothecenes, produced by a number of Fusarium species. The occurrence of these mycotoxins was studied in barley samples during a survey carried out in the 2011–2014 growing seasons in climatically
[...] Read more.
T-2 and HT-2 toxins are two of the most toxic members of type-A trichothecenes, produced by a number of Fusarium species. The occurrence of these mycotoxins was studied in barley samples during a survey carried out in the 2011–2014 growing seasons in climatically different regions in Italy. The percentage of samples found positive ranges from 22% to 53%, with values included between 26 and 787 μg/kg. The percentage of samples with a T-2 and HT-2 content above the EU indicative levels for barley of 200 μg/kg ranges from 2% to 19.6% in the 2011–2014 period. The fungal species responsible for the production of these toxins in 100% of positive samples has been identified as Fusarium langsethiae, a well-known producer of T-2 and HT-2 toxins. A positive correlation between the amount of F. langsethiae DNA and of the sum of T-2 and HT-2 toxins was found. This is the first report on the occurrence of F. langsethiae—and of its toxic metabolites T-2 and HT-2—in malting barley grown in Italy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Open AccessArticle Hydrolytic Fate of 3/15-Acetyldeoxynivalenol in Humans: Specific Deacetylation by the Small Intestine and Liver Revealed Using in Vitro and ex Vivo Approaches
Toxins 2016, 8(8), 232; doi:10.3390/toxins8080232
Received: 19 June 2016 / Accepted: 19 July 2016 / Published: 28 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6713 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In addition to deoxynivalenol (DON), acetylated derivatives, i.e., 3-acetyl and 15-acetyldexynivalenol (or 3/15ADON), are present in cereals leading to exposure to these mycotoxins. Animal and human studies suggest that 3/15ADON are converted into DON after their ingestion through hydrolysis of the acetyl moiety,
[...] Read more.
In addition to deoxynivalenol (DON), acetylated derivatives, i.e., 3-acetyl and 15-acetyldexynivalenol (or 3/15ADON), are present in cereals leading to exposure to these mycotoxins. Animal and human studies suggest that 3/15ADON are converted into DON after their ingestion through hydrolysis of the acetyl moiety, the site(s) of such deacetylation being still uncharacterized. We used in vitro and ex vivo approaches to study the deacetylation of 3/15ADON by enzymes and cells/tissues present on their way from the food matrix to the blood in humans. We found that luminal deacetylation by digestive enzymes and bacteria is limited. Using human cells, tissues and S9 fractions, we were able to demonstrate that small intestine and liver possess strong deacetylation capacity compared to colon and kidneys. Interestingly, in most cases, deacetylation was more efficient for 3ADON than 15ADON. Although we initially thought that carboxylesterases (CES) could be responsible for the deacetylation of 3/15ADON, the use of pure human CES1/2 and of CES inhibitor demonstrated that CES are not involved. Taken together, our original model system allowed us to identify the small intestine and the liver as the main site of deacetylation of ingested 3/15ADON in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Worldwide Mycotoxins Exposure in Pig and Poultry Feed Formulations
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 350; doi:10.3390/toxins8120350
Received: 29 September 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 17 November 2016 / Published: 24 November 2016
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Abstract
The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based
[...] Read more.
The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based on mycotoxin contamination levels of the raw materials with different diet formulations, to highlight the important role the stage of production and the raw materials used can have on mycotoxins levels in diets. Our analysis focuses on mycotoxins for which maximum tolerated levels or regulatory guidelines exist, and for which sufficient contamination data are available. Raw materials used in feed formulation vary considerably depending on the species of animal, and the stage of production. Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites whose frequency and levels also vary considerably depending on the raw materials used and on the geographic location where they were produced. Although several reviews of existing data and of the literature on worldwide mycotoxin contamination of food and feed are available, the impact of the different raw materials used on feed formulation has not been widely studied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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