Mycotoxin-mixture assessment in mother-infant pairs in Nigeria: From mothers' meal to infants’ urine

Dominik Braun, Wilfred A. Abia, Bojan Šarkanj, Michael Sulyok, Thomas Waldhoer, Astrid C. Erber, Rudolf Krska, Paul C. Turner, Doris Marko, Chibundu N. Ezekiel*, Benedikt Warth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Downloads (Pure)


Exposure to food and environmental contaminants is a global environmental health issue. In this study, innovative LC-MS/MS approaches were applied to investigate mycotoxin co-exposure in mother-infant pairs (n = 23) by analyzing matched plate-ready food, breast milk and urine samples of mothers and their exclusively breastfed infants. The study revealed frequent co-occurrence of two to five mycotoxins. Regulated (e.g. aflatoxins, deoxynivalenol and ochratoxin A) and emerging mycotoxins (e.g. alternariol monomethyl ether and beauvericin) were frequently detected (3 %–89 % and 45 %–100 %), in at least one specimen. In addition, a moderate association of ochratoxin A in milk to urine of mothers (r = 0.47; p = 0.003) and infants (r = 0.52; p = 0.019) but no other significant correlations were found. Average concentration levels in food mostly did not exceed European maximum residue limits, and intake estimates demonstrated exposure below tolerable daily intake values. Infants were exposed to significantly lower toxin levels compared to their mothers, indicating the protective effect of breastfeeding. However, the transfer into milk and urine and the resulting chronic low-dose exposure warrant further monitoring. In the future, occurrence of mycotoxin-mixtures, and their combined toxicological effects need to be comprehensively considered and implemented in risk management strategies. These should aim to minimize early-life exposure in critical developmental stages.
Original languageEnglish
Article number132226
Issue numberPart 2
Early online date08 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Mycotoxin-mixture assessment in mother-infant pairs in Nigeria: From mothers' meal to infants’ urine'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this