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Deoxynivalenol exposure assessment in young children in Tanzania

Authors

  • Chou Srey,

    1. School of Biological Sciences, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast, UK
    2. Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, UK
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  • Martin E. Kimanya,

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

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

    1. Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA), Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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  • Yun Yun Gong

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Biological Sciences, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast, UK
    2. Division of Epidemiology, Leeds Institute of Genetics, Health and Therapeutics, University of Leeds, UK
    • Correspondence: Dr. Yun Yun Gong, School of Biological Sciences, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast, David Keir Building, 18–30 Malone Road, Belfast, BT9 5BN, UK

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

      Fax: +44-2890976513

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Abstract

Scope

This study assessed deoxynivalenol (DON) exposure in children from three geographic locations within Tanzania, over three time points in 1 year, using a urinary biomarker of exposure.

Methods and results

A total of 166 children aged 6–14 months were studied at a maize harvest and followed up twice at 6-month intervals. On two consecutive days, morning urine was collected from each child and urinary DON was measured using an LC-MS method, with and without β-glucuronidase hydrolysis in order to assess free DON (fDON) and glucuronide DON. Overall, urinary DON increased significantly along with the three visits (geometric mean 1.1, 2.3, and 5.7 ng/mL, at visits 1, 2, and 3, respectively, p < 0.01). fDON was 22% of urinary total DON. Urinary DON excretion rate was 74% in village Kikelelwa based on food DON level and food consumption. Assuming 360 mL of urine excreted per day, 10, 19, and 29% of children at visits 1, 2, and 3, respectively, exceeded the provisional maximum tolerable daily intake of 1000 ng/kg b.w./day.

Conclusion

Young children in Tanzania are chronically exposed to DON due to eating contaminated maize, although exposure levels varied markedly by region and season.

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