Biochip Array Technology for simultaneous semi-quantitative multi-mycotoxin detection
Mycotoxins are known to cause acute and chronic effects in humans and animals resulting in specific clinical conditions depending on the type of mycotoxin. The mycotoxins of note are Aflatoxins (AFB1,2 & AFG1,2), Ochratoxin A (OTA), Zearalenone (ZEA), T-2 and HT-2 toxins (T-2, HT-2), Fumonisins (FBs), Deoxynivalenol (DON), and Ergot Alkaloids (EAs). Aflatoxins can cause cancer and problems with digestion, reproduction, and the immune system. OTA has been classified as a carcinogen with genotoxic effects. Zearalenone on the other hand binds to oestrogenic receptors aiding its bioaccumulation resulting in various diseases of the reproductive system i.e., prostate, ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. T-2 and HT-2 toxins are immunosuppressive through their disruptive activity in protein synthesis. Fumonisins have been positively correlated with incidents of oesophageal cancer and are known to cause Equine Leukoencephalomalacia (ELEM). An acute dose of DON can induce vomiting in pigs, however, lower concentrations reduce growth and feed consumption through the inhibition of DNA and RNA synthesis, and protein synthesis at the ribosomal level. Ergot Alkaloids cause neurotoxicity and vasoconstriction, among others.
The case for a multi-mycotoxin testing strategy
Aspergillus niger can produce AFB1,2, G1,2, OTA and FBs. Fusarium culmorum produces DON, ZEA and Nivalenol. This is just a brief example of how two mycotoxigenic fungi can produce six (6) different mycotoxins between them. Annual global mycotoxin survey data consistently illustrate evidence of multi-mycotoxin contamination in >95% of the samples tested. Therefore, most strategies for mycotoxin surveillance and control account for up to 7 mycotoxins that are tested depending on the matrix being tested. Cereals, grains, and their products (e.g. animal feed) are best candidates for multi-mycotoxin testing strategies as they are infection targets of multi-mycotoxin producing fungi, Fusarium and Aspergillus species. Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 provides a detailed list of mycotoxin Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs), while the Codex Alimentarius of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) provides a list in CXS 193-1995 amended in 2019. The USA on the other hand lists mycotoxin tolerance limits in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), which is enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In all these instruments of mycotoxin regulation, limits for more than one mycotoxin are defined which necessitates a multi-mycotoxin approach to mycotoxin testing. One of the best platforms for a multi-mycotoxin detection is the Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).
Multi-mycotoxin testing from Randox Food Diagnostics
Randox Food Diagnostics Ltd a producer and supplier of food quality solutions provides a Biochip Array Platform (BAT) which enables the simultaneous semi-quantitative detection of up to 9 mycotoxins in a single sample, in one run. The BAT is formatted in such a way as to run multiple semi-quantitative assays within a 9 mm2 area providing more stringent reagent management and greater analytical capacity. Therefore, up to 9 mycotoxin immunoassays are carried out simultaneously within each
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