2. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)
2.1. Thiol Adducts
2.2. Lysine Adducts
2.3. Chemoprevention of AFB1-Induced Carcinogenesis in Cells
- Rosmarinic acid, a phenolic antioxidant contained in basil, mint, and sage, prevented AFB1-induced carcinogenesis of human hepatoma HepG2 cells .
- Cynidin-3-O-β-glucopyranoside, an anthocyanin contained in blackberries, cranberries, oranges, and strawberries inhibited AFB1- and ochratoxin A-induced toxicity in HepG2 and colonic adenocarcinoma (CaCo-2) cells .
- Carnosic acid, a phenolic antioxidant present in the rosemary plant, exhibited a dose-dependent protective effect against apoptosis of HepG2 cells .
- Leontopodic acid, isolated from the aerial parts of the Leontopodium alpinum plant, showed chemopreventive effects against AFB1- and deoxynivalenol-induced cell damage .
2.4. Inhibition of Aflatoxicosis
- Grapefruit juice protected against AFB1–induced liver DNA damage .
- Garlic powder protected against AFB1–induced DNA damage in rat liver and colon .
- The polysaccharide mannan and yeast reduced AFB1– and ochratoxin–induced DNA damage in rats .
- High doses of combinations of indole-3-carbinol and crambene, compounds from cruciferous vegetables, protected against adverse effect of AFB1 .
2.5. Reduction of AFB1 in Food
- Treatment with aqueous citric acid degraded 96.7% of AFB1 in maize (corn) with an initial concentration of 93 ng/g .
- Citric acid was more effective than lactic acid in reducing AFB1 in extrusion cooked sorghum .
- Extrusion cooking of contaminated peanut meal in the presence of calcium chloride, lysine, and methylamine reduced AFB1 from an initial value of 417.7 µg/kg to 66.9 µg/kg .
- Intermittent pumping of the volatile soybean aldehyde trans-2-exanal protected stored corn from Aspergillus flavus growth and aflatoxin contamination .
- The highest aflatoxin reduction (24.8%) was observed after cooking contaminated rice samples in a rice cooker, but the difference with other home-cooking methods was not statistically significant .
2.6. Practical Applications
- Plant essential oils (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Coriandrum sativum, Melissa officinalis, Mentha piperita, Salvia officinalis, and Thymus vulgaris) inhibited Fusarium mycotoxin production as well as fungal contamination of wheat seeds . Inhibitory effects correlated with antioxidative properties of the oils. The highest inhibition of fungal growth was after 5 days of treatment and inhibition decreased after 22 days. The authors recommend the use of essential oils as natural preservatives for stored cereals.
- Fumigation of corn flour and corn kernels with allyl-, benzyl-, and phenyl isothiocyanates found in garlic resulted in a significant reduction of fumonisin content .
- Adsorption of the mycotoxin to a clay-based sorbent resulted in decreased bioavailability .
- A mycotoxin binder prevented adverse effects of fumonisin B1 in rats .
- An ethanol extract of the plant Aquilegia vulgaris counteracted the oxidative stress and toxicity of fumonisins in rats .
- A red ginseng extract also protected rats against AFB1– and fumonisin–induced pre-cancerous lesions .
- Several herbal teas and extracts protected against fumonisin B1-induced cancer promotion in rat liver .
4. Ochratoxin A
- Barberis et al.  found that food grade antioxidants and antimicrobials controlled the growth of the fungi and ochratoxin A production on peanut kernels.
- Petchkongkaew et al.  demonstrated that Bacillus spp. from fermented soybeans can detoxify AFB1 and ochratoxin A.
- Virgili et al.  found that native yeast controls the production of ochratoxin production in dry cured ham.
- Kapetanokou et al.  observed similar results in beverages.
5. Botulinum Neurotoxins
- Studies by Daifas et al.  revealed that a commercial mastic resin and its essential oil in ethanol solution inhibited the growth of proteolytic strains of Clostridium botulinum in media. The anti-botulinal activity was greater when the test substances were applied in the vapor state than in solution. The test substances did not, however, inhibit neurotoxin production in challenge studies with the bacteria in English-style crumpets but the authors suggest that these natural products have the potential to inhibit pathogenic bacteria in bakery products.
- A reduced level of nitrite (75 mg/kg) inhibited the toxigenesis of Clostridium botulinum type B in meat products .
- The combined treatment with chlorine and lactic acid inhibited both E. coli O157:H7 and Clostridium sporogenes in spinach packaged in modified atmospheres .
- Kaempfenol, kaempferol, and quercetin glycosides isolated from black tea inhibited the neuromuscular inhibitory effects of botulinum neurotoxin A in mouse phrenic nerve–diaphragm preparations .
- Ethyl acetate extracts of several teas mixed with botulinum neurotoxin type A also prevented neuromuscular blockade of a mouse phrenic nerve–diaphragm preparation  with an order of potency of the extracts of black tea > oolong tea > roasted tea > green tea (no effect).
- Water-soluble fractions of the stinging nettle leaf extract inhibited the protease activity of botulinum neurotoxin type A but not type B .
- Chicoric acid isolated from the herbal plant Echinacea is a potent exosite inhibitor of BoNT/A with a synergistic effect when combined with an active site inhibitor .
- The natural compound lomofungin inhibited the BoNT serotype A light chain metalloproteinase (LC) by nonclassical inhibition kinetics .
6. Cholera Toxin (CT)
7. Shiga/Shiga-like Toxins
- Intraperitoneal administration of 1 mg of the green tea catechin epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) to BALB/c mice completely inhibited the lethal effect of 2 ng of Stx2 .
- EGCG and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) also markedly inhibited the extracellular release of Stx2 toxin from E. coli O157:H7 . The mechanism of inhibition seems to involve interference by the catechins of the transfer of periplasmic proteins through the outer membrane of the bacterial cell. The cited findings indicate that tea compounds are potent inhibitors of Stx2. An unanswered question is whether tea compounds and teas can inactivate bacterial toxins present in drinking water and in liquid and solid foods.
- The compound eugenol, which is present in many spices, inhibited verotoxin production in a concentration-dependent manner by E. coli O157:H7 .
- The food preservatives potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, and sodium propionate reduced Shiga toxin activity in E. coli O157:H7 bacteria .
- Glycan-encapsulated gold nanoparticles inhibited Stx1 and Stx2 . The authors suggest that tailored glyconanoparticles that mimic the natural display of glycans in lipid rafts could serve as potential therapeutics for the toxins. They also note that a few amino acid changes in emerging Stx2 variants can change receptor specificity.
- In an elegant review, Branson and Turnbull  describe mechanistic aspects of the inhibition by multivalent synthetic scaffolds, which include glycopolymers, glycodendrimers, and tailored glycoclusters, that can inhibit the binding of bacterial toxins to specific glycolipids in the cell membrane. The authors conclude that weak interactions of inhibitors can be greatly enhanced through multivalency. The safety and food-compatibility of the synthetic inhibitors need to be established before the inhibitors can be added to food.
- Quiñones et al.  describe the development and application of an improved Vero-d2EGFP cell-based fluorescence assay for the detection of Stx2 and inhibitors of toxin activity. Grape seed and grape pomace extracts both provided strong cellular protection against Stx2 inhibition of protein synthesis (Figure 4). The identified anti-toxin compounds can be used to develop food-compatible conditions for toxin inactivation that will benefit microbial food safety, security, and human health.Figure 4. Effect of plant compounds on protein synthesis levels in Stx-treated Vero-d2EGFP cells. Protein synthesis was measured in Vero-d2EGFP cells after a 2-hour co-incubation with plant polyphenolic compounds and Stx2. Cells were co-incubated with no plant compound, 1 mg caffeic acid/mL, 1 mg red wine concentrate/mL, 0.5 mg grape pomace extract/mL, or 0.1 mg grape seed extract/mL. Adapted from .
- Rasooly et al.  discovered that freshly prepared juice from locally purchased Red Delicious apples, but not fresh juice from Golden Delicious apples, inactivated the biological activity of Stx2. However, both Golden Delicious juice and water with added 0.3% polyphenol-rich grape pomace, a byproduct of wine production, also inactivated the Shiga toxin. Additional studies with immunomagnetic beads with specific antibodies against the toxin revealed that only part of the added Stx2 in apple juice appears to be irreversibly bound to apple juice and grape pomace constituents. The authors suggest that food-compatible and safe anti-toxin compounds can be used to inactivate Shiga toxins in apple juice and possibly also in other liquid and solid foods. It would also be of interest to find out whether apple skin, olive, and oregano leaf bactericidal powders  would also inhibit Stx2.
- Different grain fractions from pea (Pisum sativum) and faba bean (Vincia faba) inhibited adhesion of enterotoxigenic E. coli cells (ETEC) expressing adhesion and heat-labile LT toxins . Because adhesion is involved in colonization of the host by the pathogens, the authors suggest that some of the fractions have the potential to protect pigs against pathogen-induced diarrhea.
- The probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum isolated from a fermented milk beverage called Kefir protected Vero cells against the cytotoxicity of Stx2 present in supernatants of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria .
- A variety of probiotic bacteria, especially Lactobacilli, inhibited the growth E. coli strains. Whether these in vitro results can be confirmed in vivo merits study .
8. Staphylococcus Enterotoxins
- Intraperitoneal administration of a green tea extract and of the tea catechin ECGC to BALB/c mice bound to and inhibited the staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) . The inhibition of the heat-resistant enterotoxin was both dose and time dependent. ECGC also inhibited Staphylococcal superantigens-induced activation of T cells both in vitro and in vivo. Because these antigens aggravate atopic dermatitis, the authors suggest that catechins may be useful in the treatment of this human disease.
- Ether extracts of the herb Helichrysum italicum inhibited the production of enterotoxins (A–D) by S. aureus strains in culture media, suggesting that the extract interfered with the production of the enterotoxins .
- Lactobacillus starter cultures inhibited both growth of S. aureus and enterotoxin production in sausages during fermentation . The authors suggest that intestinal Lactobacillus strains could be used as a starter culture to produced microbiologically safe meat products.
- Microbial growth and SEA production rates of S. aureus in the presence of undissociated lactic acid can be used as indicators of bacterial growth and SEA formation during initial stages of cheese production .
- An ethanol extract from the bulb of the Eleutherine americana plant inhibited both S. aureus strains and enterotoxin A–D production in broth and cooked pork . The extract at 2 mg/mL delayed production of toxins A and C for 8 and 4 h, respectively, whereas toxin B was not detected in the pork after 48 h. The authors suggest that the ability of the extract to inhibit lipase and protease enzymes and to delay enterotoxin production in food indicates that it could be a novel additive against S. aureus in food.
- The 12-carbon fatty acid monoether dodecylglycerol (DDG) was more effective than glycerol monolaurate (GML) in inhibiting S. aureus growth in vitro . By contrast, GML was more effective than DDG in reducing mortality, suppressing TNF-α, S. aureus growth and exotoxin production, and mortality in a rabbit model. The authors suggest that GML has the potential to be an effective anti-staphylococcal topical anti-infective candidate.
- Dilutions of freshly prepared apple juices and a commercial apple polyphenol preparation (Apple Poly®) inhibited the biological activity of SEA in a spleen cell assay (Figure 5) . Studies with antibody-coated immunomagnetic beads bearing specific antibodies against the toxin showed that SEA added to apple juice seems to be largely bound to the juice constituents. Figure 6 depicts a possible mechanistic scheme for the inhibition.Figure 5. Comparison of inhibition of SEA by Red Delicious apple juice and apple polyphenols (Apple Poly). Splenocytes and SEA (1 ng/mL) were incubated for 48 h with Red Delicious juice or decreasing concentrations (0.3%, 0.06% and 0.012% w/v in PBS) of Apple Poly. The level of newly synthesized DNA was then determined, by measuring optical density at 450 nm. Adapted from .Figure 6. Schematic representation of cellular events that lead to the inhibition of SEA induced cell proliferation by apple juice. The individual steps in this scheme involve (A) the formation of a bridge between antigen presenting cells (APC) and T cells that results in the induction of T-cell proliferation; and (B) the inhibition of T-cell proliferation by added pure apple juice that disrupt the connection between APC and T cells. The net beneficial result of these events is the prevention of release and the consequent adverse effects induced by cytokines. Abbreviations: MHC, major histocompatibility complex; TCR, T-cell receptor. Adapted from .
- A dilution series of the olive compound 4-hydroxytyrosol and a commercial olive powder containing approximately 6% 4-hydroxytyrosol and 6% of other phenolic compounds inactivated the pathogen . Two independent assays, (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation into newly synthesized DNA, and glycyl-phenylalanyl-aminofluorocoumarin proteolysis) showed that the olive compound also inactivated the biological activity of SEA at concentrations that were not toxic to spleen cells used in the assay. Efforts to determine the inhibition of the toxin by the olive powder were not successful because the powder was cytotoxic to the spleen cells at concentrations that are effective against the bacteria. The results (Figure 7) show that the olive compound can be used to inactivate both the bacteria and the toxin produced by the bacteria and that the use of cell assays to determine inhibition can only be done with concentrations of the inhibitor that are not toxic to cells.Figure 7. Effect of 4-hydroxytyrosol on splenocyte proliferation determined by two independent methods. Different concentrations of the toxin (0, 5, and 200 ng/mL) were exposed to 4-hydroxytyrosol or the control (media) and were then incubated for 48 h with splenocyte cells followed by determining (A) GF-AFC cleavage by live cell protease (a measure of cellular activity) or (B) BrdU incorporation into newly synthesized DNA (a measure of cellular proliferation). Conditions: (A) GF-AFC substrate in intact cells is cleaved by live cell protease releasing the fluorescent AFC, which is quantified at an excitation wavelength of 355 nm and an emission wavelength of 523 nm. (B) BrdU-labeled DNA was determined spectrophotometrically at absorbances of 620 nm and 450 nm. Both assays show that 4-hydroxytyrosol inhibited the biological activity of SEA. Adapted from .
- The Chinese herbal extract anisodamine inhibited the S. aureus toxin in human blood mononuclear cells .
- Hemoglobin inhibits the production of S. aureus exotoxins in a cell assay .
- Several phenolic antioxidants showed antimicrobial activity against several S. aureus strains  .
- Human monoclonal antibodies against SEB possess high affinity and toxin neutralization qualities essential for any therapeutic agent  .
- Several synthetic peptides inhibited the emetic and superantigenic activities of SEA in house musk shrews .
- Apple and olive powders and oregano leaves exhibited exceptionally high activity at nanogram levels against S. aureus .
|Aflatoxin B1||mutagen; carcinogen||apple juice, caffeic, carnosic, cinnamic, citric, ferulic, lactic, leontopodic, rosmarinic, and vanillic acids, crambene, cysteine, cyanidinglucopyranoside, extrusion cooking, fisetin, garlic powder, glutathione, grapefruit juice, lactic acid, leontopodic acid, N-acetylcysteine, rosmarinic acid, yeast|
|Fumonisins||carcinogen, neurotoxin||clay-based sorbent, essential oils, ginseng, herbal teas, isothiocyanates, Aquilegia extract|
|Ochratoxin A||cytotoxin, nephrotoxin||antioxidants, Bacilli, yeast|
|Botulinum neurotoxin||neurotoxin, flaccid paralysis, botulism||chicoric acid, lactic acid, lomofungin, mastic essential oil, mastic resin, theaflavin, thearubigin, kaempferol, quercetin, teas, stinging nettle leaf extract|
|Cholera toxin||cholera disease, diarrhea||capsaicin, catechins, cysteine, epicatechin, glutathione, fenugreek seeds, galactose, quinazolines, rice bran, sialyloligosaccharides, skim milk, chilli pepper extract|
|Shiga toxins||diarrhea, hemolytic uremic syndrome, kidney, spleen, and thymus necrosis||bean fractions, apple juice, epigallocatechin, eugenol, fermented milk, glycan, glycodendrides, glycopolymers, grape seed extract, grape pomace extract, Lactobacillus, pea fractions, probiotic bacteria, yeast|
|Staphylococcus enterotoxin||atopic dermatitis, gastritis, mastitis, superantigen||anisodamine, apple juice, apple extract, dodecylglycerol, Eleutherine extract, glycerol monolaurate, green tea, Helichrysum extract, hemoglobin, hydroxytyrosol, kefir, olive powder, oregano leaves, sour milk|
|Ricin||cytotoxin||anti-ricin antibodies, reconstituted milk, ricin hydrogel|
|α-Chaconine||teratogen||folic acid, glucose-6-posphate, methotrexate, NADP|
- Determine whether natural compounds can concurrently reduce both pathogens and toxins produced by the pathogens.
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- Develop anti-toxin films and coatings to protect foods against contamination by toxins .
- Determine whether anti-toxin effects of natural compounds and extracts in vitro can be duplicated in vivo, especially in humans.
- Determine the biological significance of low levels of residual AFB1 and ricin, which seem to stimulate cell growth.
- Explore the use of molecular biology anti-sense RNA methods to suppress genes that govern the biosynthesis of plant and microbial toxins.
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