Outbreaks of fusarial-toxicoses in India
Mycotoxins are gaining utmost importance due to the fact that aflatoxins were found to be natural carcinogens prevailing in food and feedstuffs. Chronic health risks are particularly prevalent in India where the diets of the people are highly prone to mycotoxins due to poor harvesting practices, improper storage and transport. The Fusarium toxins of greatest concern are fumonisins, trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol (DON) and T-2 toxin) and zearalenone. The current paper describes the disease outbreaks of Fusarium toxins in India due to ingestion of mycotoxin-contaminated food. DON was implicated in an outbreak of emetic syndrome in Kashmir State. An outbreak of acute foodborne disease caused by fumonisin has been reported in south India during 1995 affecting 1,424 people due to contaminated sorghum and maize. Trichothecenes have been involved in an acute human mycotoxicosis known as alimentary toxic aleukia (ATA) in India during 1987 and were attributed to the consumption of mouldy wheat. These outbreaks continue to be a significant health problem of people in India because of their poor purchasing ability that compels them to consume contaminated food.
Keywordsfood safety fumonisin ATA DON T-2 toxin human toxicoses
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