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An Overview of Mycotoxins and Toxigenic Fungi in Croatia

Pepeljnjak, Stjepan; Šegvić, Maja
An Overview of Mycotoxins and Toxigenic Fungi in Croatia // An Overview on Toxigenic Fungi and Mycotoxins in Europe / Logrieco, Antonio ; Visconti, Angelo (ur.).
Dordrecht: Kluwer Acadamic Publishers, 2004. str. 33-50

An Overview of Mycotoxins and Toxigenic Fungi in Croatia

Pepeljnjak, Stjepan ; Šegvić, Maja

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Poglavlja u knjigama, pregledni

An Overview on Toxigenic Fungi and Mycotoxins in Europe

Logrieco, Antonio ; Visconti, Angelo

Kluwer Acadamic Publishers



Raspon stranica


Ključne riječi
Ochratoxin A, trichotecenes, zearalenone, fumonisin B1, endemic nephropathy

Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites that contaminate food and feed and can impact on human and animal health. Contamination occurs through the fungal growth before harvest depending on consistent environmental conditions, or after harvest as consequence of improper storage. Mycotoxins differ in their chemical characteristics and mode of action in biological systems. Between few hundred known mycotoxins aflatoxins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, trichotecens (T-2, HT-2, DON, DAS) and fumonisins have a great toxicological and economical importance. “ Golden age” of mycotoxin research started with discovery of aflatoxins, which caused fatal turkey outbreak in Great Britain known as “ turkey X disease” . These toxins are produced by storage moulds Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, frequently founded in peanuts, cereals, cotton, oilseed and dried meat products from hot and humid countries. Aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2) are strong hepatotoxins and carcinogens for humans and animals. In the ochratoxin group, ochratoxin A (OTA) is the most frequently found in cereals from tropical and temperate countries. It is mainly produced by some Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Ochratoxin A showed nephrotoxic, immunosuppressive, neurotoxic, carcinogenic and teratogenic potential in all experimental animals. Due to a similarity of kidney damage in OTA-induced porcine nephropathy, this toxin has been proposed as one of the causative agents of endemic nephropathy. This kidney disease occurs in some regions of Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Croatia (Middle Posavina). Zearalenone, trichotecens (T-2, HT-2, DON, DAS) and fumonisins are produced by Fusarium species, which contaminate cereals during harvest and storage. Chronic exposure of domestic animals to zearalenone causes oestrogenism, reproductive organ disorders, abortion and sterility. Trichotecenes cause weight loss, vomiting, skin irritation, immunosuppression internal bleeding and animal death. Trichotecenotoxicosis known as “ alimentary toxic aleukia” with fatal outcome in humans were seen in USSR (1932-1947) and it was consequence of the Fusarium sporotrichoides contamination of grain. Fumonisins are “ new” group of fusariotoxins, described in 1988. They are involved in several animal toxicosis including equine leukoencephalomalacia, porcine pulmonary oedema, hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunosuppression and have carcinogenic, genotoxic and apoptotic properties. Most of these particular mycotoxins have been studied in Republic Croatia over a thirty years period, especially ochratoxin A (OTA) as possible aetiological factor of endemic nephropathy in our country. Occurrence of fungi and mycotoxins in different substrates (field and stored crops, dried meat products, animal feed) and air, mycotoxin residues in humans and animals, and toxigenic potential of fungal strains isolated over a past three decades in Croatia are discussed in this review.

Izvorni jezik

Znanstvena područja
Kliničke medicinske znanosti


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