Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are the secondary metabolites that are produced by filamentous fungi. It is capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals. Because of their pharmacological activity, some mycotoxins or mycotoxin derivatives have found use as antibiotics, growth promotants, and other kinds of drugs; still others have been implicated as chemical warfare agents. This review focuses on the most important ones associated with human and veterinary diseases, including aflatoxin, citrinin, ergot akaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin a, patulin, trichothecenes, and zearalenone.

Mycoses are the best-known diseases of fungal etiology, but toxic secondary metabolites produced by saprophytic species are also an important health hazard. The term mycotoxin is an artificial rubric used to describe pharmacologically active mold metabolites characterized by vertebrate toxicity. Mycotoxins generally enter the body via ingestion of contaminated foods, but inhalation of toxigenic spores and direct dermal contact are also important routes.

  • Mycoses and mycotoxicoses
  • Definitions, etymology, and general principles
  • Toxicology and human health
  • Aflatoxins
  • Citrinin
  • Ergot alkaloids
  • Fumonisins
  • Ochratoxin
  • Patulin
  • Trichothecenes
  • Zearalenone

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