Aflatoxicosis, be it humans or animals, is characterized by liver damage. Based on what information is available with respect to human exposure, encephalopathy can occur and is also observed in domestic animals. In addition, preliminary evidence from human studies demonstrates that aflatoxins cause an increase in circulating alpha tumor necrosing factor, suggesting that these mycotoxins are also immunotoxic in humans. In animals, immunosuppression does occur in a variety of different species.
Aflatoxins are present in the food chain. They have been found in human cord blood and apparently can enter the developing fetus in humans and animals (Hintz, 1990; Denning et al, 1990).
In addition, aflatoxins have been found in human breast milk (El-Nesami HS et al, 1995), cow's milk and dairy products (Srivastava VP et al 2001; Thirumala-Devi et al, 2002) and infant formula (Aksit et al, 1997). Not only has exposure to aflatoxins been implicated in hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatic failure, encephalopathy and Reye's syndrome, such exposure may also be important in the health and well-being of the fetus and neonates. Thus, it has been postulated that intra-uterine and neonate exposure from contaminated food products may play an etiology in (1) Kwashiorkor, (2) neonatal susceptibility to infection and jaundice, (3) childhood infections and malignant disease and compromised response to prophylactic immunizations in children (Hendrickse, 1991).
Finally, aflatoxin B1 can cause mutations to both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Albumin-aflatoxin adducts apparently are increased in individuals with genetic polymorphism in association with GSTM1 null, mEH heterozygote and CYP3A5 mutations.
Abulu EO et al (1998) Preliminary investigation on aflatoxin in cord blood of jaundiced neonates. West Afr J Med 17:184.
Aflatoxins (2002) National Library of Medicine. Hazardous Substance Data Base. Toxnet (National Data Network).
Aksit S et al (1997) Aflatoxin: is it a neglected threat for formula-fed infants? Acta Pediatr 39:34.
Asao T, et al (1963) Aflatoxins B and G. J Amer Chem. Soc 85:1706.
Azziz-Baumgartner E, Lindblade K, et al (2005) Case-Control study of an acute aflatoxicosis outbreak, Kenya 2004. Environ Health Perspec 113:177.
Baron CC et al (2000) Lipopolysaccharide augments aflatoxin B(1)-induced liver injury through neutrophil-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Toxicol Sci 58:208.
Burggera JA (1986) Presence of aflatoxin B1 in human liver referred to as Reye's syndrome. Acta Cient Venez 37:325.
Chao TC et al (1991) An outbreak of Aflatoxicosis and boric acid poisoning in Malaysia: a clinicopathological study. J Pathol 164:225.
Chen SY, Chen CJ et al (2000) Associations of plasma aflatoxin B1-albumin level with plasma selenium level and genetic polymorphism of glutathione s-transferase M1 and T1. Nutr Cancer 38:179-85.
Ciegler AM ,Bennet JW (1980) Mycotoxins and Mycotoxicosis. Bioscience 30:512.
Dash B, Afriyie-Gyawu E, et al (2007) Determinants of the variability of aflatoxin-albumin adduct in levels in Ghanaians. Toxicol Environ Health A 70:58-66.
Deng ZL, Ma Y (1998). Aflatoxin sufferer and p53 gene mutation in hepatocellular carcinoma. World J Gastroenterol 4:28.
Denning DW et al (1990) Transplacental transfer of aflatoxin in humans. Carcinogenesis 11:1033.
Dimitri RA, Gabal MA (1996) Immunosuppressant activity of aflatoxin ingestion in rabbits measured by response to Mycobacterium bovis antigen I. Cell mediated immune response measured by skin test reactions. Vet Hum Toxicol 38:333.
Dominguez-Malagon H, Gaytan-Graham S (2001) Hepatocellular carcinoma: an update. Ultrastruct Pathol 25:497.
Dvorackova I et al (1977) Aflatoxin and encephalopathy with fatty degeneration of viscera (Reye). Ann Nutr. Alimet 31:977.
Dvorackova I, Pichova V (1986) Pulmonary interstitial fibrosis with evidence of aflatoxin B1 in lung tissue. Toxicol Environ Health 18:153.
El-Naghy MA, Mazen MB, Fadl-Allah EM (1991) Studies on the fungus flora and aflatoxin production of cotton seeds in Egypt. J Islamic Acad Sci 4:141.
El-Nesami HS et al (1995) Aflatoxin M1 in human breast milk samples in Victoria, Australia and Thailand. Food Chem. Toxicol 33:173.
Epstein SM, et al (1969) Renal epithelial neoplasms in male Wistar rats by oral Aflatoxin B1. Cancer Res 29:1045.
Gong Y, Hounsa A, et al S, et al (2004) Post weaning exposure to Aflatoxin results in impaired child growth: a longitudinal study in Benin, West Africa. Environ Health Perspec 112:1334.
Hendrickse RG (1991) Clinical implications of food contaminated by aflatoxins. Ann Acad Med Singapore 20:84.
Hintz HF (1990) Molds, mycotoxins, and mycotoxicosis. Vet Clinic N America: Equine Practice 6:419.
IARC (1976) Monographs on the evaluation of the carcinogenic risk of chemicals to man. Geneva: World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1972-Present [Multi-volume work, P. V10 60 * V10 63 (1976)].
Jakab GJ et al (1994) Respiratory aflatoxicosis: suppression of pulmonary and systemic host defenses in rats and mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 125:198.
Keeler, RF, Tu AT (eds) (1983) Handbook of Natural Toxins, Volume 1. Plant and Fungal Toxins. New York: Marcell Dekker, Inc., p. 308.
Lewis L, Onsongo M, et al (2005) Aflatoxin of commercial maize products during an outbreak of acute aflatoxicosis in Eastern and Central Kenya. Environ Health Perspec 223:1763-7.
Markow LP, et al (1973) The ultrastructure of renal neoplasms induced by Aflatoxin B1. Cancer Res 33:1608.
Meki ET et al (2001) Aflatoxin B1 induces apoptosis in rat liver; protective effect of melatonin. Neuroendocrinol 22:417.
Newman SJ, Smith JR, et al (2007). Aflatoxicosis in nine dogs after exposure to contaminated commercial dog food. J Vet Diag Invest 19:168-75.
Niranjan BG et al (1982) Preferential attack of mitochondrial DNA by aflatoxin B1 during hepatocarcinogenesis. Science 215:73.
Niranjan BG et al (1986) Protection of mitochondrial genetic system against aflatoxin B1 binding in animals resistant to aflatoxicosis. Cancer Res 56:3637.
Nuntharatanpong N et al (2001) Increase in tumor necrosing factor-alpha and a change in lactate dehydrogenase isoenzyme pattern in plasma of workers exposed to aflatoxin-contaminated feeds. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol 52:291.
Obasi SC (2001) Effects of scopoletin and aflatoxin B1 on bovine hepatic mitochondrial respiratory complexes, 2: a-ketoglutarate, cytochrome c and succinate cytochrome c reductases. Z Naturforsch [C] 56:278.
Pasupathy K et al (1999) Alterations of phosphatidylinositol signal pathway in hepatic mitochondria following aflatoxin B1 administration. Indian J Exp Biol 47:876.
Rainbow L et al (1994) Ultrastructural changes in murine lymphocytes induced by aflatoxin B1. Mycopathologia 125:33.
Ryan NJ et al (1979) Aflatoxin B1; its role in the etiology of Reye's syndrome. Pediatrics 64:71.
Sajan MP et al (1996) Alteration of energy-linked functions in rat hepatic mitochondria following aflatoxin B1 administration. J Biochem Toxicol 11:2.
Searle CE (Ed.) (1976) Chemical Carcinogens. ACS Monograph, Washington, DC: American Chemical Society.
Shanks ET et al (1986) Tissue distribution and hepatic ultrastructural effects of aflatoxin B1 in Japanese quail. Pol Arch Weter 26:117.
Sharma RP (1993) Immunotoxicity of mycotoxins. J Dairy Sci 76:892.
Silvott L et al (1997) Immunotoxicological effects on piglets of feeding sows diets containing aflatoxins. Vet Rec 141:469.
Srivastava VP et al (2001) Aflatoxin M1 contamination in commercial samples of milk and dairy products in Kuwait. Food Addit Contam 18:993.
Stein JH (ed) (1990) Internal Medicine. Boston, Mass:Little, Brown & Company. p. 514.
Stora C et al (1983) Aflatoxin and Reye's syndrome. J Med 14:47.
Thirumala-Devi K et al (2002) Development and application of an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunoassay for aflatoxin m(1) in milk and milk-based confectionery. Agric Food Chem 50:933.
Thrasher JD (2000) Are chlorinated pesticides a causation in maternal mitDNA mutations? Arch Environ Health 55:292.
Turner PC, Collinson AC, Cheung UB, et al (2007). Aflatoxin exposure in utero causes growth faltering in Gambian Infants. International J Epidemiol 36:119.
Wallace DC (1997) Mitochondrial DNA in aging and disease. Scientific American, August, pp. 40-47.
Wang JS et al (2001) Development of aflatoxin B1-lysine adduct monoclonal antibody for human exposure studies. Appl Environ Microbiol 67:2712.
Wild CP, Turner PC, Chemin I, et al (2000) Environmental and genetic determinants of aflatoxin-albumin adducts in the Gambia. Int J Cancer 86:1-7.
Wojnowski L, Turner PC, et al (2004) Increased levels of aflatoxin-albumin adducts are associated with CYP3A5 polymorphism in the Gambia, West Africa. Pharmacogenetics 14:691.