The potential for mycotoxin production by molds present in fermented cassava produced and consumed in Burundi, a subtropical african country, was evaluated. Molds isolated from 102 different manioc samples were screened. The flora was dominated by the toxicogenic species Penicillium verrucosum var. cyclopium while the pathogenic species Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus (Eurotium) chevaliers, Aspergillus candidus, Aspergillus clavatus, Penicillium citrinum and unspecified Fusarium species were encountered less frequently. P. cyclopium and A. clavatus cultured for mycotoxin production on commercial media respectively produced mycotoxins of the penitrem type, roquefortine C and related compounds, and the tryptoquivalines. The isolated metabolites were screened in vitro using the coaxially stimulated guinea-pig ileum. The penitrems and tryptoquivalines were found to strongly influence cholinergic activity in the nervous system. In vivo studies conducted on Swiss mice demonstrated that these mycotoxins were potent tremorgens. These findings indicate that the production of such metabolites especially by the dominant P. verrucosum var. cyclopium is a potential hazard for public health.
Full conference title:
The 2nd Meeting of the European Confederation of Medical Mycology
- ECMM 2nd (1995)