Open AccessCorrection
Correction: Chen, S., et al. Identification of an Essential Region for Translocation of Clostridium difficile Toxin B. Toxins 2016, 8, 241
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 352; doi:10.3390/toxins8120352 (registering DOI) -
Open AccessReview
Recent Advances and Future Challenges in Modified Mycotoxin Analysis: Why HRMS Has Become a Key Instrument in Food Contaminant Research
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 361; doi:10.3390/toxins8120361 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic fungi in crops worldwide. These compounds can undergo modification in plants, leading to the formation of a large number of possible modified forms, whose toxicological relevance and occurrence in food and feed is still largely unexplored.
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Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by pathogenic fungi in crops worldwide. These compounds can undergo modification in plants, leading to the formation of a large number of possible modified forms, whose toxicological relevance and occurrence in food and feed is still largely unexplored. The analysis of modified mycotoxins by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry remains a challenge because of their chemical diversity, the large number of isomeric forms, and the lack of analytical standards. Here, the potential benefits of high-resolution and ion mobility mass spectrometry as a tool for separation and structure confirmation of modified mycotoxins have been investigated/reviewed. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Emergence and Epidemiology of Haff Disease in China
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 359; doi:10.3390/toxins8120359 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Haff disease is a rare syndrome of unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis occurring within 24 h of consumption of certain types of cooked freshwater fish or crustacean. It is caused by a yet unidentified heat-stable toxin. In the present review of published case studies
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Haff disease is a rare syndrome of unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis occurring within 24 h of consumption of certain types of cooked freshwater fish or crustacean. It is caused by a yet unidentified heat-stable toxin. In the present review of published case studies and official press releases, the main objective is to report the emergence and epidemiology of Haff disease in China. Haff disease first occurred in Beijing in 2000 and in Lianzhou and Liannan, Guangdong Province in 2009. Subsequent outbreaks mostly occurred in the Jiangsu Province—Nanjing, Yangzhou, Huai’an, and Yancheng. Isolated outbreaks occurred in other cities since 2010—Shijiazhuang, Yueyang, Shanghai, Wuhu, Baoding, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong (imported cases from Shenzhen). Outbreaks occurred predominately in the summer. Crayfish accounted for almost all the outbreaks. Two large outbreaks occurred in Lianzhou and Liannan in 2009 (n = 54) after eating pomfrets and in Nanjing in 2010 (n = 42) after eating crayfish. Other reports or outbreaks involved only 1–9 subjects (median 2 subjects). Variability in individual susceptibility and attack rates were noted, with many subjects remaining asymptomatic despite sharing the same seafood meal as the index cases. Adults were predominately involved. Symptoms occurred within 3–20 h of seafood ingestion, including myalgia, weakness, and, less frequently, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Myalgia and muscle weakness should normally subside within 2–3 days. Serum creatine phosphokinase became normal within 5–6 days. Abnormal renal function was uncommon. Serious complications (renal failure, multi-organ failure, and prolonged myopathy) and death were rare. In any subjects with unexplained myalgia and rhabdomyolysis, seafood consumption should be included in the history. All suspected cases of Haff disease, including milder presentations, should be reported to public health authorities. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Snake Genome Sequencing: Results and Future Prospects
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 360; doi:10.3390/toxins8120360 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress,
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Snake genome sequencing is in its infancy—very much behind the progress made in sequencing the genomes of humans, model organisms and pathogens relevant to biomedical research, and agricultural species. We provide here an overview of some of the snake genome projects in progress, and discuss the biological findings, with special emphasis on toxinology, from the small number of draft snake genomes already published. We discuss the future of snake genomics, pointing out that new sequencing technologies will help overcome the problem of repetitive sequences in assembling snake genomes. Genome sequences are also likely to be valuable in examining the clustering of toxin genes on the chromosomes, in designing recombinant antivenoms and in studying the epigenetic regulation of toxin gene expression. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Contrasting Roles of Deoxynivalenol and Nivalenol in Host-Mediated Interactions between Fusarium graminearum and Sitobion avenae
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 353; doi:10.3390/toxins8120353 -
Abstract
Fusarium graminearum is the predominant causal species of Fusarium head blight in Europe and North America. Different chemotypes of the species exist, each producing a plethora of mycotoxins. Isolates of differing chemotypes produce nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON), which differ in toxicity to
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Fusarium graminearum is the predominant causal species of Fusarium head blight in Europe and North America. Different chemotypes of the species exist, each producing a plethora of mycotoxins. Isolates of differing chemotypes produce nivalenol (NIV) and deoxynivalenol (DON), which differ in toxicity to mammals and plants. However, the effect of each mycotoxin on volatile emissions of plant hosts is not known. Host volatiles are interpreted by insect herbivores such as Sitobion avenae, the English grain aphid, during host selection. Previous work has shown that grain aphids are repelled by wheat infected with DON-producing F. graminearum, and this study seeks to determine the influence of pathogen mycotoxins to host volatile chemistry. Volatile collections from infected hosts and olfactometer bioassays with alate aphids were performed. Infections with isolates that produced DON and NIV were compared, as well as a trichothecene deficient transformant derived from the NIV-producing isolate. This work confirmed the repellent nature of infected hosts with DON accumulation. NIV accumulation produced volatiles that were attractive to aphids. Attraction did not occur when NIV was absent and was, therefore, a direct consequence of NIV production. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
A Topographical Atlas of Shiga Toxin 2e Receptor Distribution in the Tissues of Weaned Piglets
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 357; doi:10.3390/toxins8120357 -
Abstract
Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e of Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary virulence factor in the development of pig edema disease shortly after weaning. Stx2e binds to the globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer), the latter acting as the
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Shiga toxin (Stx) 2e of Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is the primary virulence factor in the development of pig edema disease shortly after weaning. Stx2e binds to the globo-series glycosphingolipids (GSLs) globotriaosylceramide (Gb3Cer, Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer) and globotetraosylceramide (Gb4Cer, GalNAcβ1-3Galα1-4Galβ1-4Glcβ1-1Cer), the latter acting as the preferential Stx2e receptor. We determined Stx receptor profiles of 25 different tissues of a male and a female weaned piglet using immunochemical solid phase binding assays combined with mass spectrometry. All probed tissues harbored GSL receptors, ranging from high (category I) over moderate (category II) to low content (category III). Examples of Gb4Cer expression in category I tissues are small intestinal ileum, kidney pelvis and whole blood, followed by colon, small intestinal duodenum and jejunum belonging to category II, and kidney cortex, cerebrum and cerebellum as members of category III organs holding true for both genders. Dominant Gb3Cer and Gb4Cer lipoforms were those with ceramides carrying constant sphingosine (d18:1) and a variable C16:0, C22:0 or C24:1/C24:0 fatty acid. From the mapping data, we created a topographical atlas for Stx2e receptors in piglet tissues and organs, which might be helpful to further investigations on the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie infections of Stx2e-producing STEC in pigs and their zoonotic potential for humans. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Indoxyl Sulfate—Review of Toxicity and Therapeutic Strategies
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 358; doi:10.3390/toxins8120358 -
Abstract
Indoxyl sulfate is an extensively studied uremic solute. It is a small molecule that is more than 90% bound to plasma proteins. Indoxyl sulfate is derived from the breakdown of tryptophan by colon microbes. The kidneys achieve high clearances of indoxyl sulfate by
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Indoxyl sulfate is an extensively studied uremic solute. It is a small molecule that is more than 90% bound to plasma proteins. Indoxyl sulfate is derived from the breakdown of tryptophan by colon microbes. The kidneys achieve high clearances of indoxyl sulfate by tubular secretion, a function not replicated by hemodialysis. Clearance by hemodialysis is limited by protein binding since only the free, unbound solute can diffuse across the membrane. Since the dialytic clearance is much lower than the kidney clearance, indoxyl sulfate accumulates to relatively high plasma levels in hemodialysis patients. Indoxyl sulfate has been most frequently implicated as a contributor to renal disease progression and vascular disease. Studies have suggested that indoxyl sulfate also has adverse effects on bones and the central nervous system. The majority of studies have assessed toxicity in cultured cells and animal models. The toxicity in humans has not yet been proven, as most data have been from association studies. Such toxicity data, albeit inconclusive, have prompted efforts to lower the plasma levels of indoxyl sulfate through dialytic and non-dialytic means. The largest randomized trial showed no benefit in renal disease progression with AST-120. No trials have yet tested cardiovascular or mortality benefit. Without such trials, the toxicity of indoxyl sulfate cannot be firmly established. Full article
Open AccessReview
Dehydropyrrolizidine Alkaloid Toxicity, Cytotoxicity, and Carcinogenicity
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 356; doi:10.3390/toxins8120356 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid (DHPA)-producing plants have a worldwide distribution amongst flowering plants and commonly cause poisoning of livestock, wildlife, and humans. Previous work has produced considerable understanding of DHPA metabolism, toxicity, species susceptibility, conditions, and routes of exposure, and pathogenesis of acute poisoning. Intoxication
[...] Read more.
Dehydropyrrolizidine alkaloid (DHPA)-producing plants have a worldwide distribution amongst flowering plants and commonly cause poisoning of livestock, wildlife, and humans. Previous work has produced considerable understanding of DHPA metabolism, toxicity, species susceptibility, conditions, and routes of exposure, and pathogenesis of acute poisoning. Intoxication is generally caused by contaminated grains, feed, flour, and breads that result in acute, high-dose, short-duration poisoning. Acute poisoning produces hepatic necrosis that is usually confirmed histologically, epidemiologically, and chemically. Less is known about chronic poisoning that may result when plant populations are sporadic, used as tisanes or herbal preparations, or when DHPAs contaminate milk, honey, pollen, or other animal-derived products. Such subclinical exposures may contribute to the development of chronic disease in humans or may be cumulative and probably slowly progress until liver failure. Recent work using rodent models suggest increased neoplastic incidence even with very low DHPA doses of short durations. These concerns have moved some governments to prohibit or limit human exposure to DHPAs. The purpose of this review is to summarize some recent DHPA research, including in vitro and in vivo DHPA toxicity and carcinogenicity reports, and the implications of these findings with respect to diagnosis and prognosis for human and animal health. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Fast Screening of Antibacterial Compounds from Fusaria
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 355; doi:10.3390/toxins8120355 (registering DOI) -
Abstract
Bio-guided screening is an important method to identify bioactive compounds from fungi. In this study we applied a fast digital time-lapse microscopic method for assessment of the antibacterial properties of secondary metabolites from the fungal genus Fusarium. Here antibacterial effects could be
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Bio-guided screening is an important method to identify bioactive compounds from fungi. In this study we applied a fast digital time-lapse microscopic method for assessment of the antibacterial properties of secondary metabolites from the fungal genus Fusarium. Here antibacterial effects could be detected for antibiotic Y, aurofusarin, beauvericin, enniatins and fusaric acid after six hours of cultivation. The system was then used in a bio-guided screen of extracts from 14 different Fusarium species, which had been fractionated by HPLC. In this screen, fractions containing the red pigments aurofusarin and bikaverin showed effects against strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. The IC50 for aurofusarin against Lactobacillus acidophilus was 8 µM, and against Bifidobacterium breve it was 64 µM. Aurofusarin only showed an effect on probiotic bacteria, leading to the speculation that only health-promoting bacteria with a positive effect in the gut system are affected. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Growth-Phase Sterigmatocystin Formation on Lactose Is Mediated via Low Specific Growth Rates in Aspergillus nidulans
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 354; doi:10.3390/toxins8120354 -
Abstract
Seed contamination with polyketide mycotoxins such as sterigmatocystin (ST) produced by Aspergilli is a worldwide issue. The ST biosynthetic pathway is well-characterized in A. nidulans, but regulatory aspects related to the carbon source are still enigmatic. This is particularly true for lactose,
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Seed contamination with polyketide mycotoxins such as sterigmatocystin (ST) produced by Aspergilli is a worldwide issue. The ST biosynthetic pathway is well-characterized in A. nidulans, but regulatory aspects related to the carbon source are still enigmatic. This is particularly true for lactose, inasmuch as some ST production mutant strains still synthesize ST on lactose but not on other carbon substrates. Here, kinetic data revealed that on d-glucose, ST forms only after the sugar is depleted from the medium, while on lactose, ST appears when most of the carbon source is still available. Biomass-specified ST production on lactose was significantly higher than on d-glucose, suggesting that ST formation may either be mediated by a carbon catabolite regulatory mechanism, or induced by low specific growth rates attainable on lactose. These hypotheses were tested by d-glucose limited chemostat-type continuous fermentations. No ST formed at a high growth rate, while a low growth rate led to the formation of 0.4 mg·L−1 ST. Similar results were obtained with a CreA mutant strain. We concluded that low specific growth rates may be the primary cause of mid-growth ST formation on lactose in A. nidulans, and that carbon utilization rates likely play a general regulatory role during biosynthesis. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Viperid Envenomation Wound Exudate Contributes to Increased Vascular Permeability via a DAMPs/TLR-4 Mediated Pathway
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 349; doi:10.3390/toxins8120349 -
Abstract
Viperid snakebite envenomation is characterized by inflammatory events including increase in vascular permeability. A copious exudate is generated in tissue injected with venom, whose proteomics analysis has provided insights into the mechanisms of venom-induced tissue damage. Hereby it is reported that wound exudate
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Viperid snakebite envenomation is characterized by inflammatory events including increase in vascular permeability. A copious exudate is generated in tissue injected with venom, whose proteomics analysis has provided insights into the mechanisms of venom-induced tissue damage. Hereby it is reported that wound exudate itself has the ability to induce increase in vascular permeability in the skin of mice. Proteomics analysis of exudate revealed the presence of cytokines and chemokines, together with abundant damage associated molecular pattern molecules (DAMPs) resulting from both proteolysis of extracellular matrix and cellular lysis. Moreover, significant differences in the amounts of cytokines/chemokines and DAMPs were detected between exudates collected 1 h and 24 h after envenomation, thus highlighting a complex temporal dynamic in the composition of exudate. Pretreatment of mice with Eritoran, an antagonist of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), significantly reduced the exudate-induced increase in vascular permeability, thus suggesting that DAMPs might be acting through this receptor. It is hypothesized that an “Envenomation-induced DAMPs cycle of tissue damage” may be operating in viperid snakebite envenomation through which venom-induced tissue damage generates a variety of DAMPs which may further expand tissue alterations. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Worldwide Mycotoxins Exposure in Pig and Poultry Feed Formulations
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 350; doi:10.3390/toxins8120350 -
Abstract
The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based
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The purpose of this review is to present information about raw materials that can be used in pig and poultry diets and the factors responsible for variations in their mycotoxin contents. The levels of mycotoxins in pig and poultry feeds are calculated based on mycotoxin contamination levels of the raw materials with different diet formulations, to highlight the important role the stage of production and the raw materials used can have on mycotoxins levels in diets. Our analysis focuses on mycotoxins for which maximum tolerated levels or regulatory guidelines exist, and for which sufficient contamination data are available. Raw materials used in feed formulation vary considerably depending on the species of animal, and the stage of production. Mycotoxins are secondary fungal metabolites whose frequency and levels also vary considerably depending on the raw materials used and on the geographic location where they were produced. Although several reviews of existing data and of the literature on worldwide mycotoxin contamination of food and feed are available, the impact of the different raw materials used on feed formulation has not been widely studied. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insights into the Hypertensive Effects of Tityus serrulatus Scorpion Venom: Purification of an Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme-Like Peptidase
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 348; doi:10.3390/toxins8120348 -
Abstract
The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed
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The number of cases of envenomation by scorpions has grown significantly in Brazil since 2007, with the most severe cases being caused by the Tityus serrulatus scorpion. Although envenomed patients mostly suffer neurotoxic manifestations, other symptoms, such as hypertension, cannot be exclusively attributed to neurotoxins. Omics analyses have detected plentiful amounts of metalloproteases in T. serrulatus venom. However, the roles played by these enzymes in envenomation are still unclear. Endeavoring to investigate the functions of scorpion venom proteases, we describe here for the first time an Angiotensin I-Converting Enzyme-like peptidase (ACE-like) purified from T. serrulatus venom. The crude venom cleaved natural and fluorescent substrates and these activities were inhibited by captopril. Regarding the serum neutralization, the scorpion antivenom was more effective at blocking the ACE-like activity than arachnid antivenom, although neither completely inhibited the venom cleavage action, even at higher doses. ACE-like was purified from the venom after three chromatographic steps and its identity was confirmed by mass spectrometric and transcriptomic analyses. Bioinformatics analysis showed homology between the ACE-like transcript sequences from Tityus spp. and human testis ACE. These findings advance our understanding of T. serrulatus venom components and may improve treatment of envenomation victims, as ACE-like may contribute to envenomation symptoms, especially the resulting hypertension. Full article
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Open AccessConference Report
Priority Actions and Progress to Substantially and Sustainably Reduce the Mortality, Morbidity and Socioeconomic Burden of Tropical Snakebite
Toxins 2016, 8(12), 351; doi:10.3390/toxins8120351 -
Abstract
The deliberations and conclusions of a Hinxton Retreat convened in September 2015, entitled “Mechanisms to reverse the public health neglect of snakebite victims” are reported. The participants recommended that the following priority actions be included in strategies to reduce the global impact of
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The deliberations and conclusions of a Hinxton Retreat convened in September 2015, entitled “Mechanisms to reverse the public health neglect of snakebite victims” are reported. The participants recommended that the following priority actions be included in strategies to reduce the global impact of snake envenoming: (a) collection of accurate global snakebite incidence, mortality and morbidity data to underpin advocacy efforts and help design public health campaigns; (b) promotion of (i) public education prevention campaigns; (ii) transport systems to improve access to hospitals and (iii) establishment of regional antivenom-efficacy testing facilities to ensure antivenoms’ effectiveness and safety; (c) exploration of funding models for investment in the production of antivenoms to address deficiencies in some regions; (d) establishment of (i) programs for training in effective first aid, hospital management and post-treatment care of victims; (ii) a clinical network to generate treatment guidelines and (iii) a clinical trials system to improve the clinical management of snakebite; (e) development of (i) novel treatments of the systemic and local tissue-destructive effects of envenoming and (ii) affordable, simple, point-of-care snakebite diagnostic kits to improve the accuracy and rapidity of treatment; (f) devising and implementation of interventions to help the people and communities affected by physical and psychological sequelae of snakebite. Full article
Open AccessReview
Recombinant Alpha, Beta, and Epsilon Toxins of Clostridium perfringens: Production Strategies and Applications as Veterinary Vaccines
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 340; doi:10.3390/toxins8110340 -
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens is a spore-forming, commensal, ubiquitous bacterium that is present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy humans and animals. This bacterium produces up to 18 toxins. The species is classified into five toxinotypes (A–E) according to the toxins that the bacterium produces:
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Clostridium perfringens is a spore-forming, commensal, ubiquitous bacterium that is present in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy humans and animals. This bacterium produces up to 18 toxins. The species is classified into five toxinotypes (A–E) according to the toxins that the bacterium produces: alpha, beta, epsilon, or iota. Each of these toxinotypes is associated with myriad different, frequently fatal, illnesses that affect a range of farm animals and humans. Alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins are the main causes of disease. Vaccinations that generate neutralizing antibodies are the most common prophylactic measures that are currently in use. These vaccines consist of toxoids that are obtained from C. perfringens cultures. Recombinant vaccines offer several advantages over conventional toxoids, especially in terms of the production process. As such, they are steadily gaining ground as a promising vaccination solution. This review discusses the main strategies that are currently used to produce recombinant vaccines containing alpha, beta, and epsilon toxins of C. perfringens, as well as the potential application of these molecules as vaccines for mammalian livestock animals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating scFv into xMAP Assays for the Detection of Marine Toxins
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 346; doi:10.3390/toxins8110346 -
Abstract
Marine toxins, such as saxitoxin and domoic acid are associated with algae blooms and can bioaccumulate in shell fish which present both health and economic concerns. The ability to detect the presence of toxin is paramount for the administration of the correct supportive
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Marine toxins, such as saxitoxin and domoic acid are associated with algae blooms and can bioaccumulate in shell fish which present both health and economic concerns. The ability to detect the presence of toxin is paramount for the administration of the correct supportive care in case of intoxication; environmental monitoring to detect the presence of toxin is also important for prevention of intoxication. Immunoassays are one tool that has successfully been applied to the detection of marine toxins. Herein, we had the variable regions of two saxitoxin binding monoclonal antibodies sequenced and used the information to produce recombinant constructs that consist of linked heavy and light variable domains that make up the binding domains of the antibodies (scFv). Recombinantly produced binding elements such as scFv provide an alternative to traditional antibodies and serve to “preserve” monoclonal antibodies as they can be easily recreated from their sequence data. In this paper, we combined the anti-saxitoxin scFv developed here with a previously developed anti-domoic acid scFv and demonstrated their utility in a microsphere-based competitive immunoassay format. In addition to detection in buffer, we demonstrated equivalent sensitivity in oyster and scallop matrices. The potential for multiplexed detection using scFvs in this immunoassay format is demonstrated. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Clostridium perfringens Sialidases: Potential Contributors to Intestinal Pathogenesis and Therapeutic Targets
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 341; doi:10.3390/toxins8110341 -
Abstract
Clostridium perfringens is a major cause of histotoxic and intestinal infections of humans and other animals. This Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium can produce up to three sialidases named NanH, NanI, and NanJ. The role of sialidases in histotoxic infections, such as gas gangrene (clostridial
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Clostridium perfringens is a major cause of histotoxic and intestinal infections of humans and other animals. This Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium can produce up to three sialidases named NanH, NanI, and NanJ. The role of sialidases in histotoxic infections, such as gas gangrene (clostridial myonecrosis), remains equivocal. However, recent in vitro studies suggest that NanI may contribute to intestinal virulence by upregulating production of some toxins associated with intestinal infection, increasing the binding and activity of some of those toxins, and enhancing adherence of C. perfringens to intestinal cells. Possible contributions of NanI to intestinal colonization are further supported by observations that the C. perfringens strains causing acute food poisoning in humans often lack the nanI gene, while other C. perfringens strains causing chronic intestinal infections in humans usually carry a nanI gene. Certain sialidase inhibitors have been shown to block NanI activity and reduce C. perfringens adherence to cultured enterocyte-like cells, opening the possibility that sialidase inhibitors could be useful therapeutics against C. perfringens intestinal infections. These initial in vitro observations should be tested for their in vivo significance using animal models of intestinal infections. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spotlight on the Underdogs—An Analysis of Underrepresented Alternaria Mycotoxins Formed Depending on Varying Substrate, Time and Temperature Conditions
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 344; doi:10.3390/toxins8110344 -
Abstract
Alternaria (A.) is a genus of widespread fungi capable of producing numerous, possibly health-endangering Alternaria toxins (ATs), which are usually not the focus of attention. The formation of ATs depends on the species and complex interactions of various environmental factors and is not
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Alternaria (A.) is a genus of widespread fungi capable of producing numerous, possibly health-endangering Alternaria toxins (ATs), which are usually not the focus of attention. The formation of ATs depends on the species and complex interactions of various environmental factors and is not fully understood. In this study the influence of temperature (7 °C, 25 °C), substrate (rice, wheat kernels) and incubation time (4, 7, and 14 days) on the production of thirteen ATs and three sulfoconjugated ATs by three different Alternaria isolates from the species groups A. tenuissima and A. infectoria was determined. High-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry was used for quantification. Under nearly all conditions, tenuazonic acid was the most extensively produced toxin. At 25 °C and with increasing incubation time all toxins were formed in high amounts by the two A. tenuissima strains on both substrates with comparable mycotoxin profiles. However, for some of the toxins, stagnation or a decrease in production was observed from day 7 to 14. As opposed to the A. tenuissima strains, the A. infectoria strain only produced low amounts of ATs, but high concentrations of stemphyltoxin III. The results provide an essential insight into the quantitative in vitro AT formation under different environmental conditions, potentially transferable to different field and storage conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Fusarium-Derived Metabolites on the Barrier Integrity of Differentiated Intestinal Porcine Epithelial Cells (IPEC-J2)
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 345; doi:10.3390/toxins8110345 -
Abstract
The human, animal and plant pathogen Fusarium, which contaminates agricultural commodities worldwide, produces numerous secondary metabolites. An example is the thoroughly-investigated deoxynivalenol (DON), which severely impairs gastrointestinal barrier integrity. However, to date, the toxicological profile of other Fusarium-derived metabolites, such as
[...] Read more.
The human, animal and plant pathogen Fusarium, which contaminates agricultural commodities worldwide, produces numerous secondary metabolites. An example is the thoroughly-investigated deoxynivalenol (DON), which severely impairs gastrointestinal barrier integrity. However, to date, the toxicological profile of other Fusarium-derived metabolites, such as enniatins, beauvericin, moniliformin, apicidin, aurofusarin, rubrofusarin, equisetin and bikaverin, are poorly characterized. Thus we examined their effects—as metabolites alone and as metabolites in combination with DON—on the intestinal barrier function of differentiated intestinal porcine epithelial cells (IPEC-J2) over 72 h. Transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) was measured at 24-h intervals, followed by evaluation of cell viability using neutral red (NR) assay. Enniatins A, A1, B and B1, apicidin, aurofusarin and beauvericin significantly reduced TEER. Moniliformin, equisetin, bikaverin and rubrofusarin had no effect on TEER. In the case of apicidin, aurofusarin and beauvericin, TEER reductions were further substantiated by the addition of otherwise no-effect DON concentrations. In all cases, viability was unaffected, confirming that TEER reductions were not due to compromised viability. Considering the prevalence of mycotoxin contamination and the diseases associated with intestinal barrier disruption, consumption of contaminated food or feed may have substantial health implications. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence of Fusarium Mycotoxins in Cereal Crops and Processed Products (Ogi) from Nigeria
Toxins 2016, 8(11), 342; doi:10.3390/toxins8110342 -
Abstract
In Nigeria, maize, sorghum, and millet are very important cash crops. They are consumed on a daily basis in different processed forms in diverse cultural backgrounds. These crops are prone to fungi infestation, and subsequently may be contaminated with mycotoxins. A total of
[...] Read more.
In Nigeria, maize, sorghum, and millet are very important cash crops. They are consumed on a daily basis in different processed forms in diverse cultural backgrounds. These crops are prone to fungi infestation, and subsequently may be contaminated with mycotoxins. A total of 363 samples comprising of maize (136), sorghum (110), millet (87), and ogi (30) were collected from randomly selected markets in four agro-ecological zones in Nigeria. Samples were assessed for Fusarium mycotoxins contamination using a multi-mycotoxin liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method. Subsequently, some selected samples were analysed for the occurrence of hidden fumonisins. Overall, 64% of the samples were contaminated with at least one toxin, at the rate of 77%, 44%, 59%, and 97% for maize, sorghum, millet, and ogi, respectively. Fumonisins were the most dominant, especially in maize and ogi, occurring at the rate of 65% and 93% with mean values of 935 and 1128 μg/kg, respectively. The prevalence of diacetoxyscirpenol was observed in maize (13%), sorghum (18%), and millet (29%), irrespective of the agro-ecological zone. Other mycotoxins detected were deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, and their metabolites, nivalenol, fusarenon-X, HT-2 toxin, and hidden fumonisins. About 43% of the samples were contaminated with more than one toxin. This study suggests that consumption of cereals and cereal-based products, ogi particularly by infants may be a source of exposure to Fusarium mycotoxins. Full article
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