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Special Issue "Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luisa W. Cheng

Western Regional Research Center, Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Albany, CA, 94710, USA
E-Mail
Interests: botulinum neurotoxins; shiga toxins; mycotoxins; abrin and ricin toxins

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The causative agents of foodborne diseases vary greatly, ranging from bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites, plants, to chemicals. In many cases, the production of toxins and subsequent intoxication of the host after oral ingestion of contaminated foods leads to the development of disease. However, the pathogenesis of toxins produced by microbes, plants or fungi are not well understood and methods for toxin control and prevention are lacking. Recently, investigations of foodborne outbreaks also provided new insights about those newly described bacterial toxins, which are not typically regarded as foodborne pathogens. Therefore, to ensure a safe food supply, increased understanding of how foodborne toxins cause diseases is a must. New methods to control production, and inactivate foodborne toxins from known and unknown pathogens in a variety of complex matrices must be developed to aid food processors and regulatory agencies to adqueately monitor the safety of our food. In addition, development of new countermeasures, such as drugs or vaccines against such toxins would help combat foodborne intoxications.

This Special Issue will focus on the pathogenesis of foodborne toxins, new methods of toxin control or therapeutic interventions and new vaccines or countermeasures against of the foodborne toxins.

Dr. Luisa W. Cheng
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • foodborne toxins
  • pathogenesis
  • toxin inactivation
  • bioavailability
  • vaccines
  • food safety
  • biocontrol

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle A Rapid, Sensitive, and Portable Biosensor Assay for the Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A in Complex Food Matrices
Toxins 2018, 10(11), 476; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110476
Received: 21 August 2018 / Revised: 9 November 2018 / Accepted: 12 November 2018 / Published: 15 November 2018
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Abstract
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication can lead to the disease botulism, characterized by flaccid muscle paralysis that can cause respiratory failure and death. Due to the significant morbidity and mortality costs associated with BoNTs high toxicity, developing highly sensitive, rapid, and field-deployable assays are
[...] Read more.
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication can lead to the disease botulism, characterized by flaccid muscle paralysis that can cause respiratory failure and death. Due to the significant morbidity and mortality costs associated with BoNTs high toxicity, developing highly sensitive, rapid, and field-deployable assays are critically important to protect the nation’s food supply against either accidental or intentional contamination. We report here that the B-cell based biosensor assay CANARY® (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) Zephyr detects BoNT/A holotoxin at limits of detection (LOD) of 10.0 ± 2.5 ng/mL in assay buffer. Milk matrices (whole milk, 2% milk and non-fat milk) with BoNT/A holotoxin were detected at similar levels (7.4–7.9 ng/mL). BoNT/A complex was positive in carrot, orange, and apple juices at LODs of 32.5–75.0 ng/mL. The detection of BoNT/A complex in solid complex foods (ground beef, smoked salmon, green bean baby puree) ranged from 14.8 ng/mL to 62.5 ng/mL. Detection of BoNT/A complex in the viscous liquid egg matrix required dilution in assay buffer and gave a LOD of 171.9 ± 64.7 ng/mL. These results show that the CANARY® Zephyr assay can be a highly useful qualitative tool in environmental and food safety surveillance programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures)
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Open AccessArticle Development of an Immunoassay for Detection of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin-Like J, A Non-Characterized Toxin
Toxins 2018, 10(11), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110458
Received: 28 September 2018 / Revised: 22 October 2018 / Accepted: 3 November 2018 / Published: 6 November 2018
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Abstract
Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are the cause of staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreaks. Recently, many new types of SEs and SE-like toxins have been reported, but it has not been proved whether these new toxins cause food poisoning. To develop an immunoassay for detection
[...] Read more.
Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are the cause of staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) outbreaks. Recently, many new types of SEs and SE-like toxins have been reported, but it has not been proved whether these new toxins cause food poisoning. To develop an immunoassay for detection of SE-like J (SElJ), a non-characterized toxin in SFP, a mutant SElJ with C-terminus deletion (SElJ∆C) was expressed and purified in an E. coli expression system. Anti-SElJ antibody was produced in rabbits immunized with the SElJ∆C. Western blotting and sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detection systems were established and showed that the antibody specifically recognizes SElJ without cross reaction to other SEs tested. The limit of detection for the sandwich ELISA was 0.078 ng/mL, showing high sensitivity. SElJ production in S. aureus was detected by using the sandwich ELISA and showed that selj-horboring isolates produced a large amount of SElJ in the culture supernatants, especially in that of the strain isolated from a food poisoning outbreak in Japan. These results demonstrate that the immunoassay for detection of SElJ is specific and sensitive and is useful for determining the native SElJ production in S. aureus isolated from food poisoning cases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A New Conjugation Method Used for the Development of an Immunoassay for the Detection of Amanitin, a Deadly Mushroom Toxin
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 21 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
One of the deadliest mushrooms is the death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides. The most toxic constituent is α-amanitin, a bicyclic octapeptide, which damages the liver and kidneys. To develop a new tool for detecting this toxin, polyclonal antibodies were generated and characterized.
[...] Read more.
One of the deadliest mushrooms is the death cap mushroom, Amanita phalloides. The most toxic constituent is α-amanitin, a bicyclic octapeptide, which damages the liver and kidneys. To develop a new tool for detecting this toxin, polyclonal antibodies were generated and characterized. Both α- and β-amanitin were coupled to carrier proteins through four different linking chemistries, one of which has never before been described. These conjugates were evaluated for their effectiveness in generating antibodies specific for the free toxin, as well as their utility in formatting heterogeneous assays with high sensitivity. Ultimately, these efforts yielded a newly described conjugation procedure utilizing periodate oxidation followed by reductive amination that successfully resulted in generating sensitive immunoassays (limit of detection (LOD), ~1.0 µg/L). The assays were characterized for their selectivity and were found to equally detect α-, β-, and γ-amanitin, and not cross-react with other toxins tested. Toxin detection in mushrooms was possible using a simple sample preparation method. This enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is a simple and fast test, and readily detects amatoxins extracted from A. phalloides. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of Biliary Drainage on the Toxicity and Toxicokinetics of Amanita exitialis in Beagles
Received: 24 April 2018 / Revised: 17 May 2018 / Accepted: 22 May 2018 / Published: 25 May 2018
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Abstract
Amatoxin poisoning induces delayed-onset acute liver failure, which are responsible for more than 90% of deaths in mushroom poisoning. It has been postulated from animal and human studies that biliary drainage interrupting enterohepatic amatoxin circulation may affect amatoxin poisoning. Dogs were randomly divided
[...] Read more.
Amatoxin poisoning induces delayed-onset acute liver failure, which are responsible for more than 90% of deaths in mushroom poisoning. It has been postulated from animal and human studies that biliary drainage interrupting enterohepatic amatoxin circulation may affect amatoxin poisoning. Dogs were randomly divided into four groups of six animals each. In 20 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg with biliary drainage groups, after accepting bile drainage operation, beagles were fed Amanita exitialis powder (20 or 60 mg/kg) in starch capsules. In control and bile drainage groups, the beagle dogs were fed with empty capsules. They were assessed for toxicity signs, biochemical and pathological changes, and peptide toxins in plasma, urine and bile. The data were directly compared with those from our published studies on Amanita exitialis-exposed beagles without biliary drainage. Amatoxins were rapidly absorbed and eliminated from plasma after Amanita exitialis ingestion. Amatoxins in 0–1-day urine accounted for more than 90% of the total urine excretion, and amatoxins in bile accounted for less than 20% of the total urine and bile excretion. The dogs with biliary drainage showed less severe toxicity signs and biochemical and pathological changes and much lower internal exposure than dogs without biliary drainage. Biliary drainage caused a more than 70% reduction in intestinal amatoxin absorption and could reduce amatoxin absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures)
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Open AccessArticle Changes in Phenylpropanoid and Trichothecene Production by Fusarium culmorum and F. graminearum Sensu Stricto via Exposure to Flavonoids
Received: 13 February 2018 / Revised: 2 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 March 2018 / Published: 5 March 2018
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Abstract
Flavonoids are a group of hydroxylated polyphenolic compounds widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Biosynthesis of these compounds involves type III PKSs, whose presence has been recently predicted in some fungal species through genome sequencing efforts. In this study, for the first time
[...] Read more.
Flavonoids are a group of hydroxylated polyphenolic compounds widely distributed in the plant kingdom. Biosynthesis of these compounds involves type III PKSs, whose presence has been recently predicted in some fungal species through genome sequencing efforts. In this study, for the first time it was found that Fusaria produce flavonoids on solid YES medium. Naringenin, as the central precursor of all flavonoids, was produced at highest quantities, followed by quercetin, kaempferol, apigenin and luteolin. In plants, flavonoids are involved in the protection of cereals to a wide range of stresses, including host defense against Fusaria. Under in vitro conditions, strains of Fusarium culmorum and F. graminearum sensu stricto were incubated at levels of flavonoids close to amounts produced by cereals in response to fungal infection. The amounts of exogenous naringenin, apigenin, luteolin, kaempferol and quercetin were reduced and converted by fungi to the other flavonoid derivatives. Treatment of fungi with naringenin derivatives led to the inhibition of naringenin production. Correspondingly, the production of fungal-derived phenolic acids decreased in flavonoid treated samples, although this effect appeared to be dependent on the strain, flavonoid molecule and its concentration. Fusaria showed high variability in trichothecene production in response to flavonoids. With emphasis on quercetin, mycotoxin accumulation in the media was significantly decreased by luteolin, kaempferol, naringenin and apigenin. However, in some cases, apigenin led to the increase of mycotoxin content in the media. Gene expression experiments of Tri genes responsible for trichothecene biosynthesis (Tri4, Tri5 and Tri10) proved that the inhibition of mycotoxin production by flavonoids occurred at the transcriptional level. However, the changes in Tri transcript levels were not significant in most apigenin and all kaempferol-treated cultures. In this study, a link was established between antioxidant and antiradical properties of flavonoids and their effects on fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foodborne Toxins: Pathogenesis and Novel Control Measures)
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