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Open AccessArticle

Aflatoxins: Occurrence, Exposure, and Binding to Lactobacillus Species from the Gut Microbiota of Rural Ugandan Children

1
Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 1081 HZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2
Yoba for Life foundation, 1079 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Department of Medical Biochemistry, School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, P.O. Box 7062 Kampala, Uganda
4
Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, 0317 Oslo, Norway
5
Department of Human Nutrition and Home Economics, Kyambogo University, P.O. Box 1 Kampala, Uganda
6
Department of Microbiology and Systems Biology, TNO, 3704 HE Zeist, The Netherlands
7
Institute of Health Sciences, Kristiania University College, 0107 Oslo, Norway
8
Division of Human Nutrition, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, 7505 Cape Town, South Africa
9
Department of Hematology, Oslo University Hospital, 0318 Oslo, Norway
10
ARTIS-Micropia, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(3), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8030347
Received: 18 November 2019 / Revised: 12 February 2020 / Accepted: 27 February 2020 / Published: 29 February 2020
Chronic exposure of children in sub-Saharan Africa to aflatoxins has been associated with low birth weight, stunted growth, immune suppression, and liver function damage. Lactobacillus species have been shown to reduce aflatoxin contamination during the process of food fermentation. Twenty-three Lactobacillus strains were isolated from fecal samples obtained from a cohort of rural Ugandan children at the age of 54 to 60 months, typed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and characterized in terms of their ability to bind aflatoxin B1 in vitro. Evidence for chronic exposure of these children to aflatoxin B1 in the study area was obtained by analysis of local foods (maize flour and peanuts), followed by the identification of the breakdown product aflatoxin M1 in their urine samples. Surprisingly, Lactobacillus in the gut microbiota of 140 children from the same cohort at 24 and 36 months showed the highest positive correlation coefficient with stunting among all bacterial genera identified in the stool samples. This correlation was interpreted to be associated with dietary changes from breastfeeding to plant-based solid foods that pose an additional risk for aflatoxin contamination, on one hand, and lead to increased intake of Lactobacillus species on the other. View Full-Text
Keywords: Stunting; aflatoxin B1; Lactic acid bacteria; aflatoxin binding; gut microbiota Stunting; aflatoxin B1; Lactic acid bacteria; aflatoxin binding; gut microbiota
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wacoo, A.P.; Atukunda, P.; Muhoozi, G.; Braster, M.; Wagner, M.; van den Broek, T.J; Sybesma, W.; Westerberg, A.C.; Iversen, P.O.; Kort, R. Aflatoxins: Occurrence, Exposure, and Binding to Lactobacillus Species from the Gut Microbiota of Rural Ugandan Children. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8030347

AMA Style

Wacoo AP, Atukunda P, Muhoozi G, Braster M, Wagner M, van den Broek TJ, Sybesma W, Westerberg AC, Iversen PO, Kort R. Aflatoxins: Occurrence, Exposure, and Binding to Lactobacillus Species from the Gut Microbiota of Rural Ugandan Children. Microorganisms. 2020; 8(3):347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8030347

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wacoo, Alex P.; Atukunda, Prudence; Muhoozi, Grace; Braster, Martin; Wagner, Marijke; van den Broek, Tim J; Sybesma, Wilbert; Westerberg, Ane C.; Iversen, Per O.; Kort, Remco. 2020. "Aflatoxins: Occurrence, Exposure, and Binding to Lactobacillus Species from the Gut Microbiota of Rural Ugandan Children" Microorganisms 8, no. 3: 347. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8030347

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