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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Health Risks Associated with Mycotoxin Contamination

Authors
item Riley, Ronald
item Phillips, Timothy - VET MED/TEXAS A&M U
item Norred, William
item Huebner, Henry - VET MED/TEXAS A&M U
item Lemke, Shawn - VET MED/TEXAS A&M U

Submitted to: Workshop Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 22, 2002
Publication Date: July 7, 2003
Citation: Riley, R.T., Phillips, T., Norred, W.P., Huebner, H., Lemke, S. 2003. HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH MYCOTOXIN CONTAMINATION. Workshop Proceedings of the International Workshop on Mycotoxins. Center for Food Safety and Nutrition. College PArk, MD. Reel 1, 2002.

Interpretive Summary: This review has briefly summarized the health risks associated with exposure to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins vary considerably in their potency, in the symptoms they cause, in the target tissues affected, and in their mechanisms of action. Mycotoxins probably number in the thousands, and they are produced by hundreds of thousands of species of fungi. Nonetheless, the known mycotoxins that pose a measurable health risk to animals and humans are quite limited. When dealing with food-borne chronic diseases it is very difficult to establish causation because, unlike acute diseases, the onset of symptoms seldom occurs concurrent with exposure. Most mycotoxin-associated diseases are probably multifactorial and, in many cases, mycotoxins are not prime causes but they contribute to increased susceptibility to diseases. The fact that mycotoxins are often suspected in farm animal disease outbreaks and production problems in developed countries is a warning of the potential of mycotoxins to contribute to diseases of unknown etiology in humans who consume poor-quality commodities in large amounts.

Technical Abstract: IN: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Mycotoxins from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration/Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. This review has briefly summarized the health risks associated with exposure to mycotoxins. Mycotoxins vary considerably in their potency, in the symptoms they cause, in the target tissues affected, and in their mechanisms of action. Mycotoxins probably number in the thousands, and they are produced by hundreds of thousands of species of fungi. Nonetheless, the known mycotoxins that pose a measurable health risk to animals and humans are quite limited. When dealing with food-borne chronic diseases it is very difficult to establish causation because, unlike acute diseases, the onset of symptoms seldom occurs concurrent with exposure. Most mycotoxin-associated diseases are probably multifactorial and, in many cases, mycotoxins are not prime causes but they contribute to increased susceptibility to diseases. The fact that mycotoxins are often suspected in farm animal disease outbreaks and production problems in developed countries is a warning of the potential of mycotoxins to contribute to diseases of unknown etiology in humans who consume poor-quality commodities in large amounts.

Last Modified: 4/15/2014
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