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Toxins 2017, 9(7), 203; doi:10.3390/toxins9070203

Study on the Association among Mycotoxins and other Variables in Children with Autism

1
GMO and Mycotoxin Unit, Department of Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety, Italian National Institute for Health, Viale Regina Elena, 299-00161 Roma, Italy
2
Scientific Institute, IRCCS Eugenio Medea, Bosisio Parini, Via Don Luigi Monza, 20-23842 Bosisio Parini, Lecco, Italy
3
Department of Oncology and Molecular Medicine, Italian National Institute for Health, viale Regina Elena, 299-00161 Roma, Italy
4
National Council of Research, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, Via F.lli Cervi 93, 20090 Segrate, Milano, Italy
5
Scientific Institute, IRCSS Eugenio Medea, 72100 Brindisi, Italy
6
Department of Chemistry and Biology “A. Zambelli”, University of Salerno, Via Giovanni Paolo II, 132, 84084 Fisciano, Salerno, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: James J. Pestka
Received: 17 February 2017 / Revised: 14 June 2017 / Accepted: 23 June 2017 / Published: 29 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exposure and Risk Assessment for Mycotoxins)
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Abstract

Environmental factors and genetic susceptibility are implicated in the increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Mycotoxins are agricultural contaminants of fungal origin that represent real risk factors for human health and especially for children. Thus, the main hypothesis of this work is that the deterioration of the clinical manifestation of autism in children may result from the exposure to mycotoxins through the consumption of contaminated food. Within a cross-sectional study, a group of autistic children (n = 172) and a group of controls (n = 61) (siblings and non-parental) were recruited in North and South Italy. All children had blood and urine samples taken, for testing some mycotoxins by a LC–MS/MS validated method. Blood samples were also tested for assessing specific IgG against food and fungal antigens and cytokines. The analyses outputs highlighted statistically significant differences comparing mycotoxins levels between (i) children groups both in urine (deoxynivalenol and de-epoxydeoxynivalenol, p = 0.0141 and p = 0.0259, respectively) and serum (aflatoxin M1, ochratoxin A and fumonisin B1, p = 0.0072, p = 0.0141 and p = 0.0061, respectively); (ii) a group of selected fungal IgGs, and IgGs against wheat and gluten and (iii) cytokines. These results suggest the need for a deeper examination of the role that mycotoxins may have on the etiology of ASD. View Full-Text
Keywords: autism syndrome; mycotoxins; environment; exposure; IgG; cytokine/chemokine autism syndrome; mycotoxins; environment; exposure; IgG; cytokine/chemokine
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

De Santis, B.; Raggi, M.E.; Moretti, G.; Facchiano, F.; Mezzelani, A.; Villa, L.; Bonfanti, A.; Campioni, A.; Rossi, S.; Camposeo, S.; Soricelli, S.; Moracci, G.; Debegnach, F.; Gregori, E.; Ciceri, F.; Milanesi, L.; Marabotti, A.; Brera, C. Study on the Association among Mycotoxins and other Variables in Children with Autism. Toxins 2017, 9, 203.

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