Determining mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi in food and feed: Developing biomarkers of human exposure to mycotoxins

Yun Yun Gong, Michael Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

19 Citations (Scopus)


Exposure assessment is a critical part of epidemiological studies into the effect of mycotoxins on human health. Whilst exposure assessment can be made by estimating the quantity of ingested toxins from food analysis and questionnaire data, the use of biological markers (biomarkers) of exposure can provide a more accurate measure of individual level of exposure in reflecting the internal dose. Biomarkers of exposure can include the excreted toxin or its metabolites, as well as the products of interaction between the toxin and macromolecules such as protein and DNA. Samples in which biomarkers may be analysed include urine, blood, other body fluids and tissues, with urine and blood being the most accessible for human studies. Here we describe the development of biomarkers of exposure for the assessment of three important mycotoxins; aflatoxin, fumonisin and deoxynivalenol. A number of different biomarkers and methods have been developed that can be applied to human population studies, and these approaches are reviewed in the context of their application to molecular epidemiology research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWoodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK
EditorsSarah De Saeger
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages244
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • biomarkers of mycotoxin exposure
  • aflatoxin DNA adducts
  • aflatoxin albumin adducts
  • urinary fumonisin detection
  • urinary deoxynivalenol detection

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