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Fumonisins are a group of naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by strains of several different mating populations of Gibberella fujikori (Fusarium section Liseola). Fumonisins have been shown experimentally to be the causative agent of equine leukoencephalomalacia
(ELEM), porcine pulmonary edema (PPE) syndrome, and to produce liver cancer in rats. Epidemiological evidence also indicates a possible correlation between the fumonisins and human esophageal cancer. The analytical method of choice for most samples has been high performance liquid chromatography
(HPLC) using fluorescence detection. The present work describes the baseline resolution using an isocratic mobile phase of the o-phthalaldehyde (OPA) derivatives of fumonisin B1 (FB1), fumonisin B2 (FB2) and fumonisin B3 (FB3).
The separation of the hydrolyzed forms of FB1, partially hydrolyzed FB1 (PHFB1) and fully hydrolyzed FB1 (HFB1) is also described. Results of analyses of corn from 1992 crop year in both Iowa (mean = 0.05 μg/g, N = 80) and Pennsylvania
(mean = 0.37 μg/g, N = 91) were significantly lower than mean levels reported for 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. Significant levels of FB1 were found in commercially prepared rat (2 μg/g) and horse (37 μg/g) feed. Levels of FB1, (0.05 to 1.2 μg/g) found in corn
meal purchased from local groceries indicated a possible source of low level exposure of humans to fumonisins. The simultaneous isocratic separation of FB1, FB2, FB3 and the hydrolysis products of FB1, PHFB1 and HFB1 from fecal
samples indicated a possible difference in metabolism of FB1 in ruminants and nonruminants. In ruminants, the hydrolyzed forms of FB1 composed a significant (60 to 90%) portion of the total FB1 concentration found in the feces. In nonruminants, the parent compound,
FB1, was the dominant (90%) species present. Both ruminants and nonruminants showed limited excretion of FB1 in their urine (<1 to 7% total FB1 in excreta).
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Veterinary Services, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Ames, Iowa 50010
Publication date: June 1, 1994
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