Prevalence of Mycotoxins and Their Consequences on Human Health
Toxicological Research 2019;35:1−7
Published online January 15, 2019;  https://doi.org/10.5487/TR.2019.35.1.001
© 2019 Korean Society of Toxicology.

Oluwadara Pelumi Omotayo1, Abiodun Olusola Omotayo2, Mulunda Mwanza3 and Olubukola Oluranti Babalola4

1Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa, 2Food Security and Safety Niche, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Mafikeng Campus, Mmabatho, South Africa, 3Department of Animal Health, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa, 4Food Security and Safety Niche, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, North-West University, Mmabatho, South Africa
Oluwadara Pelumi Omotayo, Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Science, North-West University, Private Bag X2046, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa, E-mail: alamuoluwadara@gmail.com
Received: March 22, 2018; Revised: July 9, 2018; Accepted: August 2, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Mycotoxin contamination is a global phenomenon and causes a wide array of negative effects and other complications. This study focused on commonly found mycotoxins in Africa and the possible means of prevention or reduction of their contaminating effects. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of mold and fungi; they are generally toxic to living organisms. Hundreds of mycotoxins have been identified thus far, with some, such as aflatoxins, ochratoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, and patulin, considered agro-economically important. Several factors contribute to the presence of mycotoxins in food, such as climatic conditions, pest infestation, and poor harvest and storage practices. Exposure to mycotoxins, which occurs mostly by ingestion, leads to various diseases, such as mycotoxicoses and mycoses that may eventually result in death. In light of this, this review of relevant literature focuses on mycotoxin contamination, as well as various methods for the prevention and control of their prevalence, to avert its debilitating consequences on human health. Clear evidence of mycotoxin contamination is present in Africa, and it was therefore recommended that adequate prevention and control of these toxic substances in our food system should be encouraged and that appropriate measures must be taken to ensure food safety as well as the enhanced or long-lifespan of the African populace. Governments, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations should tailor the limited resources available to tackle mycotoxin prevalence, as these will offer the best prospects for successful development of a sustainable food system in Africa.
Keywords : Mycotoxin, Contamination, Prevalence, Toxic, Food safety


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