Microbiology & Immunology Publications

Aflatoxin exposure in Nigerian children with severe acute malnutrition

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Food and Chemical Toxicology



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Aflatoxin exposure is an important public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa as well as parts of Latin America and Asia. In addition to hepatocellular carcinoma, chronic aflatoxin exposure is believed to play a role in childhood growth impairment. The most reliable biomarker of chronic aflatoxin exposure is the aflatoxin-albumin adduct, as measured by ELISA or isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). In this report, we have used high resolution LC-MS/MS with IDMS to quantitate AFB -lysine in an extremely vulnerable population of Nigerian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. To increase the sensitivity and reliability of the analyses, a labelled AFB - C N -lysine internal standard was synthesized. AFB -lysine concentrations in this population ranged between 0.2 and 59.2 pg/mg albumin, with a median value of 2.6 pg/mg albumin. AFB -lysine concentrations were significantly higher in stunted children (median = 4.6 pg/mg) compared to non-stunted (1.2 pg/mg), as well as in children with severe acute malnutrition (4.3 pg/mg) compared to controls (0.8 pg/mg). The median concentrations were also higher in children with kwashiorkor (6.3 pg/mg) compared to those suffering from marasmus (0.9 pg/mg). This is the first report of the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry to quantitate AFB -lysine in humans. 1 1 6 2 1 1 1 13 15

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