Dietary exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin among Tanzanian children as determined using biomarkers of exposure

Authors

  • Candida P. Shirima,

    1. Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
    2. Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    3. Department of Food Science and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
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  • Martin E. Kimanya,

    1. Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
    2. The Nelson Mandela Institute of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), School of Life Sciences and Bioengineering, Arusha, Tanzania
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  • Joyce L. Kinabo,

    1. Department of Food Science and Technology, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
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  • Michael N. Routledge,

    1. Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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  • Chou Srey,

    1. Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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  • Christopher P. Wild,

    1. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France
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  • Yun Yun Gong

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
    • Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
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Correspondence: Dr. Yun Yun Gong, Institute for Global Food Security, School of Biological Sciences, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, BT9 5AG, UK

E-mail: y.gong@qub.ac.uk

Fax: +44-0-2890976513

Abstract

Scope

The study aims to evaluate the status of dietary exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin in young Tanzanian children, using previously validated biomarkers of exposure.

Methods and results

A total of 148 children aged 12–22 months, were recruited from three geographically distant villages in Tanzania; Nyabula, Kigwa, and Kikelelwa. Plasma aflatoxin-albumin adducts (AF-alb) and urinary fumonisin B1 (UFB1) were measured by ELISA and LC-MS, respectively. AF-alb was detectable in 84% of children, was highest in fully weaned children (p < 0.01) with higher levels being associated with higher maize intake (p < 0.05). AF-alb geometric mean (95% CI) was 43.2 (28.7–65.0), 19.9 (13.5–29.2), and 3.6 (2.8–4.7) pg/mg albumin in children from Kigwa, Nyabula, and Kikelelwa, respectively. UFB1 was detectable in 96% of children and the level was highest in children who had been fully weaned (p < 0.01). The geometric UFB1 mean (95% CI) was 327.2 (217.1–493.0), 211.7 (161.1–278.1), and 82.8 (58.3–117.7) pg/mL in Kigwa, Nyabula, and Kikelelwa, respectively. About 82% of all the children were exposed to both mycotoxins.

Conclusion

Young children in Tanzania are chronically exposed to both aflatoxin and fumonisin through contaminated diet, although the level of exposure varies markedly between the three villages studied.

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