Study of aflatoxin exposure in a Brazilian population using an aflatoxin - albumin biomarker

V. M. Scussel, P. Haas, Y. Y. Gong, C. P. Turner, C. P. Wild

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The evaluation of exposure to aflatoxins (AF) by measurement of the level of contamination in food is hampered due to the heterogeneous distribution of AF in food. Therefore, an alternative is to estimate the exposure using specific biological markers (biomarkers) based on an understanding of the metabolism of the compound. For AF, these include aflatoxin-N-7-guanine in the urine, or AFB(1)-albumin (AF-alb) in the blood. This study assessed the level of exposure to AF in Brazilian individuals using a biomarker approach, i.e. the AF-alb adducts. Blood samples were collected from urban residents (n=50; aged 18-52) in June 1999, at the Blood Center of Antonio Carlos de Camargo Hospital, Sao Paulo, Brazil. AF-alb adduct levels were determined, by ELISA following serum albumin extraction and digestion. AF-alb adducts were detected in 31/50 (62%) samples [range 0-57.3 pg AFB(1)-lys adducts/mg of blood albumin (pg/mg)]. The mean level of positives was 14.9 pg/mg and males had the two highest levels measured (57.1 and 57.3 pg/mg). There was no correlation with age or profession. This is the first study of Brazilian, or indeed South American, individuals that has determined exposure to AF at the individual level using a biomarker approach. These levels are similar to those observed in the Philippines. These data warrant further investigation of both the sources and consequences of exposure to this potent toxin in Brazil.

Original languageEnglish
EditorsH Njapau, S Trujillo, HP VanEgmond, DL Park
Place of PublicationWAGENINGEN
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-90-8686-007-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event11th International IUPAC Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins - Bethesda, United States
Duration: 17 May 200421 May 2004


Conference11th International IUPAC Symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins
CountryUnited States

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