Document Detail

Assessment of exposure of Egyptian infants to aflatoxin M1 through breast milk.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21844759     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
BACKGROUND: Mothers are exposed to many toxins that can reach their infants through breast milk. One of these toxins is aflatoxins, produced by Aspergillus fungus. Aspergillus colonizes grains, especially in tropical regions where there is high temperature and humidity. Aflatoxins are highly toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic, and carcinogenic. One of these is aflatoxin B1 that is excreted in breast milk as aflatoxin M1 (AFM1).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study in which 150 mother-infant dyads were included. All the infants were exclusively breastfed. Infant weights' standard deviation scores were documented at birth and at 6 months. At 6 months, before starting weaning, AFM1 was measured in breast milk by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and by liver enzymes; alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) for all mothers and infants.
RESULTS: Ninety-eight mothers (65.3%) had AFM1-positive breast milk samples (AFM1>0.05 μg/l according to the European Community and Codex Alimentarius). AFM1 levels ranged between 0.2 and 19.0 μg/l (mean: 7.1±5.0 μg/l). In cases considered negative, AFM1 levels ranged between 0.01and 0.05 μg/l (mean: 0.04±0.01 μg/l). Infants of AFM1-positive mothers had lower weight standard deviation scores at birth and at 6 months (P=0.04 and 0.0001). ALT and aspartate aminotransferase of mothers and ALT of infants were significantly higher in dyads having AFM1-positive breast milk (P=0.0001, 0.0001, and 0.03, respectively).
CONCLUSION: Aflatoxins represent a real threat in Egypt. The higher liver enzymes in AFM1-positive cases might represent an alarm toward future development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Cooperation of ministries is recommended to combat this problem. The public should be educated about proper food storage and about the hazards of aflatoxin ingestion.
Rania H Tomerak; Hala H Shaban; Osama A Khalafallah; Maha N El Shazly
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association     Volume:  86     ISSN:  0013-2446     ISO Abbreviation:  J Egypt Public Health Assoc     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-08-16     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7505602     Medline TA:  J Egypt Public Health Assoc     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  51-5     Citation Subset:  IM    
Paediatrics and Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics bDepartment of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine cCentre of Social and Preventive Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt.
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