Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Thomas E. Massey
  • Katherine A. Guindon
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_135-2


Mycotoxins are contaminants of a number of agricultural products, including peanuts, corn, and other grains in warm and moist conditions. Human exposure to aflatoxins is primarily through ingestion and results in acute hepatic necrosis, marked bile duct hyperplasia, acute loss of appetite, wing weakness, and lethargy.


In the early 1960s, an outbreak of hepatotoxic disease in turkeys, which became known as turkey “X” disease, gained the attention of many investigators worldwide. This condition was characterized by acute hepatic necrosis, marked bile duct hyperplasia, acute loss of appetite, wing weakness, and lethargy. It was deduced that the condition was caused by consumption of peanut meal contaminated with a mycotoxin, which is a toxin of fungal origin. The culprit fungi in turkey “X” disease turned out to be strains of Aspergillus flavus, A. parasiticus, and A. nomius, and thus the term aflatoxins was coined for the toxic metabolites. More specifically, A....


Nucleotide Excision Repair Glutathione Conjugation Detoxification Product Apurinic Site Acute Hepatic Necrosis 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical and Molecular SciencesQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada