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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MINIMIZING THE ADVERSE HEALTH AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF MYCOTOXINS AND PLANT TOXINS IN FOODS

Location: Toxicology and Mycotoxin Research

Title: Developing Biomarkers for Mycotoxin Exposure and Effect

Authors
item Riley, Ronald
item Voss, Kenneth
item Coulombe, R -
item Pestka, J -
item Williams, D -

Submitted to: World Mycotoxins Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2010
Publication Date: November 8, 2010
Citation: Riley, R.T., Voss, K.A., Coulombe, R.A., Pestka, J.J., Williams, D.E. 2010. DEVELOPING BIOMARKERS FOR MYCOTOXIN EXPOSURE AND EFFECT [abstract]. The World Mycotoxin Forum 6th Conference, Final Programme and Abstracts of Lectures and Partners. p. 37.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this presentation is to briefly summarize the toxicology and current state of biomarker development for commercially important mycotoxins with a focus on their potential usefulness in farm animals. Combining information about known exposure, clinical indicators and biomarkers will provide a potentially useful tool for identifying disease causation in the most definitive and economical manner. There is no single approach that can identify accurately when a disease outbreak might be due to exposure to a mycotoxin or when a mycotoxin could be a factor contributing to a disease outbreak. One problem is that the dose-response studies which reveal the threshold for changes in mechanism-specific biochemical alterations (mechanism-based biomarkers) often have not been correlated with the thresholds for disease progression and the levels of exposure biomarkers (parent compound or a metabolite) in tissues/fluids. Thus, one of the primary goals of mechanistic mycotoxicology should be to better define the underlying biochemical changes and thresholds that ultimately lead to adverse effects. Progress will require a better understanding of the first site of action or more precisely, the proximate cause for all the downstream effects that are observed. The development of validated biomarkers is critical to the effort to reduce the existing uncertainty in the risk assessment of most mycotoxins. In addition validated biomarkers of exposure and effect are needed to predict with some degree of certainty when a specific mycotoxin is a contributing factor in a disease outbreak. Considerable progress has been made in developing our understanding of the mechanisms of action for aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin, ochratoxin and zearalenone. It is likely that future discovery of useful biomarkers for diagnostic purposes in both farm animals and humans will improve our basic understanding of the potential for mycotoxin involvement in animal and human disease.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to briefly summarize the toxicology and current state of biomarker development for commercially important mycotoxins with a focus on their potential usefulness in farm animals. Combining information about known exposure, clinical indicators and biomarkers will provide a potentially useful tool for identifying disease causation in the most definitive and economical manner. There is no single approach that can identify accurately when a disease outbreak might be due to exposure to a mycotoxin or when a mycotoxin could be a factor contributing to a disease outbreak. One problem is that the dose-response studies which reveal the threshold for changes in mechanism-specific biochemical alterations (mechanism-based biomarkers) often have not been correlated with the thresholds for disease progression and the levels of exposure biomarkers (parent compound or a metabolite) in tissues/fluids. Thus, one of the primary goals of mechanistic mycotoxicology should be to better define the underlying biochemical changes and thresholds that ultimately lead to adverse effects. Progress will require a better understanding of the first site of action or more precisely, the proximate cause for all the downstream effects that are observed. The development of validated biomarkers is critical to the effort to reduce the existing uncertainty in the risk assessment of most mycotoxins. In addition validated biomarkers of exposure and effect are needed to predict with some degree of certainty when a specific mycotoxin is a contributing factor in a disease outbreak. Considerable progress has been made in developing our understanding of the mechanisms of action for aflatoxin, deoxynivalenol, fumonisin, ochratoxin and zearalenone. It is likely that future discovery of useful biomarkers for diagnostic purposes in both farm animals and humans will improve our basic understanding of the potential for mycotoxin involvement in animal and human disease.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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