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The aim of the present work was to study the presence of aflatoxins in blood and urine of infants with protein–energy malnutrition (PEM). The study was conducted on 60 infants, 30 with kwashiorkor and 30 with marasmus, with 10 age-matched healthy infants studied as a control group. Complete blood count, liver function tests, and determination of the level of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2, M1, M2, G2a, B3, GM1, P, and aflatoxicol R0) in blood and urine were carried out in all studied infants. Serum aflatoxins were detected in more infants with kwashiorkor (80%) than in those with marasmus (46.7%). The mean serum levels of total aflatoxins, AFB1, AFG1, and AFB2a, were significantly higher in infants with kwashiorkor (p <.001). Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was the most commonly detected type. The prevalence of aflatoxin excretion in the urine of infants with kwashiorkor was 80%, a higher value than that in infants with marasmus (46.7%). The mean urinary concentration of total aflatoxins followed the same pattern of distribution (p < .052). There were no significant differences between groups in the mean urinary concentrations of AFB1, AFG1, AFB2a, AFM1, and AFG2a. Aflatoxins were not detected in any of the serum or urine samples of the control group. Aflatoxins are highly prevalent in this study population and show a high degree of correlation with severe PEM.
Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation. The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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