Special Issue "Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Mycotoxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anindya Chanda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of South Carolina, Department of Environmental Health Sciences Public Health Research Center (PHRC), 501 921 Assembly Street Columbia, SC 29208, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fungal pathogens continue to pose a formidable global challenge to agriculture and public health. With the global changes in climate and the upsurge in severe weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons, fungal infestations in plants, animals and humans continue to rise.

The impacts of fungal pathogens in plants have been known since the observations of wheat rust in the Middle Ages. Even with the application of modern crop management, massive fungal epidemics resulting in losses of crop yield with significant social and economic impacts are still prevalent. Also, deadly fungal toxins (mycotoxins) contaminate crops and continue to present significant threats to food safety. Fungi pose a significant threat to wildlife as well. The two most prominent examples include the spread of life-threatening ‘white-nose syndrome’ in bats and the chytridiomycosis in amphibians that has led to a sharp decline in the existing species.

In humans, life-threatening fungal diseases are gradually becoming a ‘silent epidemic’ within a rapidly increasing immunocompromised population across the world. Every year fungal infections kill more than 1.5 million people and infect over a billion people and are becoming one of the most challenging medical problems to treat.

Understanding the mechanisms of infestation in plants, animals, and humans is therefore critical to the development of new technologies to prevent and treat fungal infections.

The present Toxins Special Issue will present a collection of studies on different aspects of fungal infections: case studies, mechanisms, diagnosis, and prevention.

Dr. Anindya Chanda
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Fungal pathogens
  • Fungal infections
  • Mycoses
  • Public health
  • Fungal epidemic
  • Plant infections
  • Animal infections
  • Human infections
  • Mycotoxins

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Mycotoxin Contamination of Edible Non-Timber Forest Products in Cameroon
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 430; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11070430 - 22 Jul 2019
Abstract
The prevalence and concentrations of three major mycotoxins, total aflatoxin (AFs), fumonisin (F), and zearalenone (ZEN), were determined on seven edible non-timber forest products (ENTFP) in Cameroon. A total of 210 samples consiting of 30 samples from each ENTFP commodity was collected from [...] Read more.
The prevalence and concentrations of three major mycotoxins, total aflatoxin (AFs), fumonisin (F), and zearalenone (ZEN), were determined on seven edible non-timber forest products (ENTFP) in Cameroon. A total of 210 samples consiting of 30 samples from each ENTFP commodity was collected from farmers and local markets in three agroecological zones of Cameroon and analyzed for moisture content and mycotoxins. Mycotoxins were analyzed using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits and results were validated using the VICAM fluorometric method. The European Union regulation of mycotoxins for human consumption (N°1881/2006) was adopted as reference. The moisture content of samples varied from 5.0% to 22.6%. Aflatoxin contamination was detected in 84.3% samples and only 5.7% exceeded the legal limit (10 ppb). Similarly, 53% of samples were contaminated with fumonisin and 5% of samples exceeded the legal limit (1000 ppb). Zearalenone contamination was detected in 92% of samples and 21% of samples exceeded the legal limit (100 ppb). This is the first report on mycotoxin contamination of ENTFP in the Congo Basin forest. The findings of this study will form a basis for educating farmers and other stakeholders of ENTFP values chain on mycotoxins and mycotoxin mitigation measures to produce safe ENTFP for local and international markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Global Mycotoxin Occurrence in Feed: A Ten-Year Survey
Toxins 2019, 11(7), 375; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11070375 - 27 Jun 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Mycotoxins contaminating animal feed can exert toxic effects in animals and be transferred into animal products. Therefore, mycotoxin occurrence in feed should be monitored. To this end, we performed a large-scale global survey of mycotoxin contamination in feed and assessed regional differences and [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins contaminating animal feed can exert toxic effects in animals and be transferred into animal products. Therefore, mycotoxin occurrence in feed should be monitored. To this end, we performed a large-scale global survey of mycotoxin contamination in feed and assessed regional differences and year-to-year variation of mycotoxin occurrence. Concentrations of aflatoxin B1, zearalenone, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, and T-2 toxin were analyzed in 74,821 samples of feed and feed raw materials (e.g., maize, wheat, soybean) collected from 100 countries from 2008 to 2017. In total, 88% of the samples were contaminated with at least one mycotoxin. Mycotoxin occurrence showed distinct regional trends and climate was a key determinant governing these trends. In most regions, the majority of samples complied with maximum levels and guidance values for mycotoxins in animal feed that are in effect in the European Union. However, 41.1%, 38.5%, and 20.9% of samples from South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia, respectively, exceeded the maximum level for aflatoxin B1 (20 µg/kg). In several regions, mycotoxin concentrations in maize showed a pronounced year-to-year variation that could be explained by rainfall or temperature during sensitive periods of grain development. A large fraction of samples (64%) was co-contaminated with ≥ 2 mycotoxins. Most frequently observed mycotoxin mixtures were combinations of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, and fumonisins, as well as fumonisins and aflatoxin B1. Deoxynivalenol and zearalenone concentrations were correlated in maize and wheat. In conclusion, according to an extensive global survey, mycotoxin (co-)contamination of animal feed is common, shows regional trends, and is governed in part by climate and weather. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Deoxynivalenol in the Diet Impairs Bone Mineralization in Broiler Chickens
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060352 - 18 Jun 2019
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most abundant and important trichothecene mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species. In chickens, DON intake causes feed refusal, impairs performance, gut barrier function, and immunity, and raises oxidative stress. To determine the effect of DON on bone mineralization [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is one of the most abundant and important trichothecene mycotoxins produced by Fusarium species. In chickens, DON intake causes feed refusal, impairs performance, gut barrier function, and immunity, and raises oxidative stress. To determine the effect of DON on bone mineralization and serum calcium and phosphorus, 80 newly-hatched chickens were fed 4 diets with 0, 2.5, 5, and 10 mg DON/kg feed in this pilot study. In week 5, chickens were euthanized, femur and tibiotarsus bones were separated from the meat, and after incineration ash composition, as well as serum calcium and phosphorus, were determined using clinical biochemistry. Dietary DON reduced chicken dry matter, calcium, and phosphorus intake, and subsequently body and leg weight. DON affected bone density and composition of the tibiotarsus more drastically than of the femur. However, lower mineral intake did not solely explain our observations of the quadratically lower tibiotarsus density and ash content, as well as linearly decreased Ca content in the femur and tibiotarsus with increasing DON levels. Linearly decreasing serum phosphorus concentrations with increasing DON levels further supported impaired mineral homeostasis due to DON. In conclusion, already low dietary DON contamination of 2.5 mg/kg feed can compromise bone mineralization in chickens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
Open AccessArticle
Effects of Destruxin A on Silkworm’s Immunophilins
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 349; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060349 - 18 Jun 2019
Abstract
Destruxin A (DA), a major secondary metabolite of Metarhizium anisopliae, has anti-immunity to insects. However, the detailed mechanism and its interactions with target proteins are elusive. Previously, three immunophilins, peptidyl–prolyl cis–trans isomerase (BmPPI), FK506 binding-protein 45 (BmFKBP45) and BmFKBP59 homologue, were isolated [...] Read more.
Destruxin A (DA), a major secondary metabolite of Metarhizium anisopliae, has anti-immunity to insects. However, the detailed mechanism and its interactions with target proteins are elusive. Previously, three immunophilins, peptidyl–prolyl cis–trans isomerase (BmPPI), FK506 binding-protein 45 (BmFKBP45) and BmFKBP59 homologue, were isolated from the silkworm, Bombyx mori Bm12 cell line following treatment with DA, which suggested that these proteins were possible DA-binding proteins. To validate the interaction between DA and the three immunophilins, we performed bio-layer interferometry (BLI) assay, and the results showed that DA has interaction with BmPPI, whose affinity constant value is 1.98 × 10−3 M and which has no affinity with FKBP45 and FKBP59 homologue in vitro. Furthermore, we investigated the affinity between DA and human PPI protein (HsPPIA) and the affinity constant (KD) value is 2.22 × 10−3 M. Additionally, we compared the effects of silkworm and human PPI proteins produced by DA and immunosuppressants, cyclosporine A (CsA), and tacrolimus (FK506), by employing I2H (insect two-hybrid) in the SF-9 cell line. The results indicated that in silkworm, the effects created by DA and CsA were stronger than FK506. Furthermore, the effects created by DA in silkworm were stronger than those in humans. This study will offer new thinking to elucidate the molecular mechanism of DA in the immunity system of insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Dietary Zearalenone on Oxidative Stress, Cell Apoptosis, and Tight Junction in the Intestine of Juvenile Grass Carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060333 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a prevalent mycotoxin with high toxicity in animals. In order to study its effect on juvenile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), six diets supplemented with different levels of ZEA (0, 535, 1041, 1548, 2002, and 2507 μg/kg diet) for [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is a prevalent mycotoxin with high toxicity in animals. In order to study its effect on juvenile grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella), six diets supplemented with different levels of ZEA (0, 535, 1041, 1548, 2002, and 2507 μg/kg diet) for 10 weeks were studied to assess its toxicity on intestinal structural integrity and potential mechanisms of action. Our report firstly proved that ZEA led to growth retardation and body deformity, and impaired the intestinal structural integrity of juvenile grass carp, as revealed by the following findings: (1) ZEA accumulated in the intestine and caused histopathological lesions; (2) ZEA resulted in oxidative injury, apoptosis, and breached tight junctions in the fish intestine, which were probably associated with Nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), p38 mitogen activated protein kinases (p38MAPK), and myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) signaling pathways, respectively. ZEA had no influence on the antioxidant gene levels of Kelch-like ECH associating protein 1 (Keap1)b (rather than Keap1a), glutathione-S-transferase (GST)P1, GSTP2 (not in the distal intestine (DI)), tight junctions occludin, claudin-c (not in the proximal intestine (PI)), or claudin-3c (not in the mid intestine (MI) or DI). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
The Relationship Analysis on Corn Stalk Rot and Ear Rot According to Fusarium Species and Fumonisin Contamination in Kernels
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060320 - 05 Jun 2019
Abstract
Fusarium diseases, including corn root rot, sheath rot, stalk rot, and ear rot are frequently occurring in maize producing areas of China. Fusarium stalk rot and ear rot are the most serious diseases and often occur at the same time, but it is [...] Read more.
Fusarium diseases, including corn root rot, sheath rot, stalk rot, and ear rot are frequently occurring in maize producing areas of China. Fusarium stalk rot and ear rot are the most serious diseases and often occur at the same time, but it is unclear whether there is a correlation between Fusarium composition and disease occurrence. This study was conducted to clarify the relationship between the two diseases. A total of 49 corn stalk rot samples were collected from 15 regions of eight provinces in China from 2016 to 2018. The pathogens were isolated and identified separately from stalks, ear stems, and kernels. The contents of the fumonisins (FB1 and FB2) were detected in kernels. The results showed that the main Fusarium species were found in corn kernels, ear stems and stalks at the same time. The results showed that 1201 strains of Fusarium verticillioides, 668 strains of Fusarium oxysporum, 574 strains of Fusarium graminearum species complex (FGSC), 318 strains of Fusarium equiseti, 95 strains of Fusarium proliferatum, and 40 strains of Fusarium subglutinans were isolated from 1470 corn kernels, 245 ear stems, and 1225 stalks randomly selected from 49 samples. The contamination rate of fumonisins in the 49 samples was 57.1% with an average content of 1.9 μg/g, of which four samples exhibited higher levels as set by the European Commission (4.0 μg/g). These results provide a certain association between stalk rot and ear rot and lay a foundation to study the relationships among Fusarium maize diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessCommunication
Occurrence of Deoxynivalenol and Ochratoxin A in Beers and Wines Commercialized in Paraguay
Toxins 2019, 11(6), 308; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11060308 - 30 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Alcoholic beverages can be contaminated with mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is the most frequently detected mycotoxinin wine and is produced by several species of Aspergillus. This mycotoxin is nephrotoxic and carcinogenic. In beer, the most commonly identified mycotoxin is deoxynivalenol (DON). Ingestion of [...] Read more.
Alcoholic beverages can be contaminated with mycotoxins. Ochratoxin A (OTA) is the most frequently detected mycotoxinin wine and is produced by several species of Aspergillus. This mycotoxin is nephrotoxic and carcinogenic. In beer, the most commonly identified mycotoxin is deoxynivalenol (DON). Ingestion of food contaminated with DON has been associated with adverse gastrointestinal effects. Despite the harmful effects of mycotoxins on health, there are no regulations regarding their limits in alcoholic beverages in Paraguay. Here we determine the presence of OTA and DON in wine and beer, respectively. Four commercial brands of wine and twenty-nine brands of craft and industrial beerwere tested by the Agra quant ELISA method. One brand of wine was positive for OTA and seven brands of beer (one of them craft) were positive for DON. The values found for both toxins are below the recommended maximum intake proposed by international standards. Giving the high consumption of these products in the country, regulations and monitoring systems mustbe established to check the maximum levels of mycotoxins allowed in alcoholic beverages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
Open AccessArticle
Degrading Ochratoxin A and Zearalenone Mycotoxins Using a Multifunctional Recombinant Enzyme
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050301 - 27 May 2019
Abstract
Zearalenone (ZEA) is an estrogenic and ochratoxin A (OTA) is a hepatotoxic Fusarium mycotoxin commonly seen in cereals and fruits products. No previous investigation has studied on a single platform for the multi degradation mycotoxin. The current study aimed to investigate the bifunctional [...] Read more.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is an estrogenic and ochratoxin A (OTA) is a hepatotoxic Fusarium mycotoxin commonly seen in cereals and fruits products. No previous investigation has studied on a single platform for the multi degradation mycotoxin. The current study aimed to investigate the bifunctional activity of a novel fusion recombinant. We have generated a recombinant fusion enzyme (ZHDCP) by combining two single genes named zearalenone hydrolase (ZHD) and carboxypeptidase (CP) in frame deletion by crossover polymerase chain reaction (PCR). We identified enzymatic properties and cell cytotoxicity assay of ZHDCP enzyme. Our findings have demonstrated that ZEA was completely degraded to the non-toxic product in 2 h by ZHDCP enzyme at an optimum pH of 7 and a temperature of 35 °C. For the first time, it was found out that ZEA 60% was degraded by CP degrades in 48 h. Fusion ZHDCP and CP enzyme were able to degrade 100% OTA in 30 min at pH 7 and temperature 30 °C. ZEA- and OTA-induced cell death and increased cell apoptosis rate and regulated mRNA expression of Sirt1, Bax, Bcl2, Caspase3, TNFα, and IL6 genes. Our novel findings demonstrated that the fusion enzyme ZHDCP possess bifunctional activity (degrade OTA and ZEA), and it could be used to degrade more mycotoxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Development of an Anti-Idiotypic VHH Antibody and Toxin-Free Enzyme Immunoassay for Ochratoxin A in Cereals
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050280 - 20 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits have been widely used for the determination of mycotoxins in agricultural products and foods, however, this test uses toxin standards with high toxicity and carcinogenicity that seriously threaten human health. In this work, the anti-idiotypic nanobody VHH [...] Read more.
Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits have been widely used for the determination of mycotoxins in agricultural products and foods, however, this test uses toxin standards with high toxicity and carcinogenicity that seriously threaten human health. In this work, the anti-idiotypic nanobody VHH 2-24 was first developed and then, using it as a surrogate standard, a toxin-free enzyme immunoassay for ochratoxin A (OTA) was established. The IC50 value of the VHH 2-24 surrogate standard-based ELISA was 0.097 µg/mL, with a linear range of 0.027–0.653 µg/mL. The average recoveries were tested by spike-and-recovery experiments, and ranged from 81.8% to 105.0%. The accuracy of the developed ELISA for detecting OTA was further verified by using the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method, and an excellent correlation was observed. In summary, the toxin-free ELISA established in this study proves the latent use of the anti-idiotypic VHH as a surrogate calibrator for other mycotoxins and highly toxic small molecule analysis to improve assay properties for highly sensitive analyte determination in agricultural products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Deoxynivalenol Modulates the Viability, ROS Production and Apoptosis in Prostate Cancer Cells
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 265; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050265 - 11 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON), known as vomitoxin, a type B trichothecene, is produced by Fusarium. DON frequently contaminates cereal grains such as wheat, maize, oats, barley, rye, and rice. At the molecular level, it induces ribosomal stress, inflammation and apoptosis in eukaryotic cells. Our [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON), known as vomitoxin, a type B trichothecene, is produced by Fusarium. DON frequently contaminates cereal grains such as wheat, maize, oats, barley, rye, and rice. At the molecular level, it induces ribosomal stress, inflammation and apoptosis in eukaryotic cells. Our findings indicate that DON modulates the viability of prostate cancer (PCa) cells and that the response to a single high dose of DON is dependent on the androgen-sensitivity of cells. DON appears to increase reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in cells, induces DNA damage, and triggers apoptosis. The effects of DON application in PCa cells are influenced by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and NFΚB- HIF-1α signaling pathways. Our results indicate that p53 is a crucial factor in DON-associated apoptosis in PCa cells. Taken together, our findings show that a single exposure to high concentrations of DON (2–5 µM) modulates the progression of PCa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Subcutaneous Ochratoxin-A Exposure on Immune System of Broiler Chicks
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 264; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050264 - 11 May 2019
Abstract
Ochratoxin A (OTA), an immunosuppressive mycotoxin, can increase the risk of many infectious diseases and contribute to economic losses to the poultry industry. The immunosuppressive effect has mainly been investigated through oral exposure; however, birds may also be contaminated through skin absorption. The [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin A (OTA), an immunosuppressive mycotoxin, can increase the risk of many infectious diseases and contribute to economic losses to the poultry industry. The immunosuppressive effect has mainly been investigated through oral exposure; however, birds may also be contaminated through skin absorption. The present study investigated the influence of OTA exposure on the defense system of broiler chicks through the subcutaneous route and including low doses. Groups of broiler chicks (Cobb), 05 days old, were exposed to subcutaneous inoculation of OTA at concentrations of 0.1; 0.5; 0.9; 1.3; and 1.7 mg OTA/kg body weight. The size of the lymphoid organs, circulating immune cells, and total IgY and IgA levels were evaluated 21 days post inoculation. Subcutaneous OTA exposure decreased the weight of the thymus, spleen, and bursa of Fabricius, and leukocytopenia (p < 0.05) was detected in chicks of the OTA treated groups. In a dose-dependent way, decreased levels of circulating lymphocytes and heterophils (p < 0.05), and increased levels of monocytes (p < 0.05) were detected. Decreased IgY and IgA serum concentrations were noted in the OTA treated groups (p < 0.05). In conclusion, subcutaneous OTA exposure induces immunosuppression even at low levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
NMR-Based Metabolic Profiles of Intact Zebrafish Embryos Exposed to Aflatoxin B1 Recapitulates Hepatotoxicity and Supports Possible Neurotoxicity
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 258; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050258 - 08 May 2019
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a widespread contaminant of grains and other agricultural crops and is globally associated with both acute toxicity and carcinogenicity. In the present study, we utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and specifically high-resolution magic angle spin (HRMAS) NMR, coupled to [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a widespread contaminant of grains and other agricultural crops and is globally associated with both acute toxicity and carcinogenicity. In the present study, we utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and specifically high-resolution magic angle spin (HRMAS) NMR, coupled to the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo toxicological model, to characterize metabolic profiles associated with exposure to AFB1. Exposure to AFB1 was associated with dose-dependent acute toxicity (i.e., lethality) and developmental deformities at micromolar (≤ 2 µM) concentrations. Toxicity of AFB1 was stage-dependent and specifically consistent, in this regard, with a role of the liver and phase I enzyme (i.e., cytochrome P450) bioactivation. Metabolic profiles of intact zebrafish embryos exposed to AFB1 were, furthermore, largely consistent with hepatotoxicity previously reported in mammalian systems including metabolites associated with cytotoxicity (i.e., loss of cellular membrane integrity), glutathione-based detoxification, and multiple pathways associated with the liver including amino acid, lipid, and carbohydrate (i.e., energy) metabolism. Taken together, these metabolic alterations enabled the proposal of an integrated model of the hepatotoxicity of AFB1 in the zebrafish embryo system. Interestingly, changes in amino acid neurotransmitters (i.e., Gly, Glu, and GABA), as a key modulator of neural development, supports a role in recently-reported neurobehavioral and neurodevelopmental effects of AFB1 in the zebrafish embryo model. The present study reinforces not only toxicological pathways of AFB1 (i.e., hepatotoxicity, neurotoxicity), but also multiple metabolites as potential biomarkers of exposure and toxicity. More generally, this underscores the capacity of NMR-based approaches, when coupled to animal models, as a powerful toxicometabolomics tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydrophobized Reversed-Phase Adsorbent for Protection of Dairy Cattle against Lipophilic Toxins from Diet. Efficiensy In Vitro and In Vivo
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 256; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050256 - 07 May 2019
Abstract
The steady growth of inflammatory diseases of the udder in dairy cattle forces us to look for the causes of this phenomenon in the context of growing chemical pollution of the environment and feeds. Within the framework of this concept, an analysis was [...] Read more.
The steady growth of inflammatory diseases of the udder in dairy cattle forces us to look for the causes of this phenomenon in the context of growing chemical pollution of the environment and feeds. Within the framework of this concept, an analysis was made of the polarity level of the three toxic impurity groups, which are commonly present in dairy cattle feeds. These impurities are presented by mycotoxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and persistent organic pollutants (POP). It has been determined that 46% of studied mycotoxins (n = 1500) and 100% of studied polyaromatic hydrocarbons (n = 45) and persistent organic pollutants (n = 55) are lipophilic compounds, prone to bioaccumulation. A comparative evaluation of the sorption capacity of four adsorbents of a different nature and polarity with respect to the simplest PAH, naphthalene and lipophilic estrogenic mycotoxin, zearalenone in vitro has been carried out. The highest efficiency in these experiments was demonstrated by the reversed-phase polyoctylated polysilicate hydrogel (POPSH). The use of POPSH in a herd of lactating cows significantly reduced the transfer of aldrin, dieldrin and heptachlor, typical POPs from the “dirty dozen”, to the milk. The relevance of protecting the main functional systems of animals from the damaging effects of lipophilic toxins from feeds using non-polar adsorbents, and the concept of evaluating the effectiveness of various feed adsorbents for dairy cattle by their influence on the somatic cell count in the collected milk are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Risk Assessment of Mycotoxins through Polish Beer Consumption
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 254; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050254 - 07 May 2019
Abstract
Poland is one of Europe’s leading producers and exporters of beer. The study, herein, describes the measurement of ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol, and zearalenone levels in 69 Polish beers. Analytical methodologies based on high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) [...] Read more.
Poland is one of Europe’s leading producers and exporters of beer. The study, herein, describes the measurement of ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, T-2 toxin, HT-2 toxin, diacetoxyscirpenol, and zearalenone levels in 69 Polish beers. Analytical methodologies based on high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and fluorescence detection were developed, validated, and used to perform the above determinations. The most prevalent mycotoxins were deoxynivalenol (96%), ochratoxin A (93%), and HT-2 toxin (74%), respectively. Three quarters of the samples contained at least three analytes. The mean ochratoxin A concentration was 0.057 (SD 0.065) ng/mL, and in four beer samples its level exceeded 0.2 ng/mL, a value postulated in the literature to be the maximum limit. Deoxynivalenol was found at a maximum level of 56.2 ng/mL, and its mean concentration was 17.1 (SD 9.0) ng/mL. An evaluation of the estimated daily intake (EDI) of mycotoxins from beer in different European populations was made using food-consumption data prepared by WHO. Based on the mean ochratoxin A concentration in beers, the EDI represented 0.8–1.1% of the tolerable daily intake (TDI), while in a worst-case scenario (maximum concentration) it reached 5.0–7.5% of TDI. For deoxynivalenol, the EDI was in the range of 4.1–6.0% of TDI, whereas, based on maximum values, it reached the level of 14–21% of TDI. There were no significant differences between “scenarios” in the HT-2 case (mean—5.0–7.5% of TDI; maximum—6.5–9.7% of TDI) due to the fact that its concentration was near the limit of quantification (LOQ) value taken for calculation. The significance of these results are discussed, herein. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Cytotoxicity and Mould Contamination of Selected Plants from Meadows Covered by the Agri-Environmental Program
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040228 - 17 Apr 2019
Abstract
The aim of the study was the evaluation of selected species of meadow plants obtained from the first cut from the area covered by the agri-environmental program ‘Natura 2000’ in terms of the presence of cytotoxic compounds detected by the MTT test and [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was the evaluation of selected species of meadow plants obtained from the first cut from the area covered by the agri-environmental program ‘Natura 2000’ in terms of the presence of cytotoxic compounds detected by the MTT test and the level of fungal contamination. The research was carried out on plant species that were evaluated differently in previously used methods for quality assessment of pasture feeds according to Klapp and Filipek. Twenty-six plant species were harvested in 2014 from meadows located in the valley of the Bydgoszcz Canal. Mycological examination of meadow plant samples was carried out according to PN-ISO 7954:1999. Cytotoxicity evaluation was performed using the MTT [3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide] test. Selected samples were also subjected to evaluation of the endophytes occurrence in grasses using PCR. Natural meadow positions included in the study were dominated by moulds belonging to Humicola spp., Alternaria spp., Cladosporium spp., Torula spp., Fusarium spp. and Mucor spp. The highest level of fungal contamination was observed for Carex acutiformis Ehrh. The most infested grasses were Deschampsia caespitosa (L.) P.Beauv., Festuca arundinacea Schreb. and Lolium perenne L. The MTT test showed that the most cytotoxic species were Arrhenatherum elatius (L.) P.Beauv. (IC50 1.563 mg/mL) and Ranunculus repens L. (IC50 3.125 mg/mL). Epichloë endophytes were detected in one of 13 examined grass samples. Our own research suggests that previously used feed quality assessments should be verified by introducing modern methods of molecular biology and instrumental analysis. Results of this study may broaden the knowledge of the causes of problems resulting from feeding of roughage, mainly from natural meadows, and help in creating new rankings of the feed value of meadow sward components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
l-Proline Alleviates Kidney Injury Caused by AFB1 and AFM1 through Regulating Excessive Apoptosis of Kidney Cells
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040226 - 16 Apr 2019
Abstract
The toxicity and related mechanisms of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) in the mouse kidney were studied, and the role of l-proline in alleviating kidney damage was investigated. In a 28-day toxicity mouse model, thirty mice were divided into six [...] Read more.
The toxicity and related mechanisms of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) and aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) in the mouse kidney were studied, and the role of l-proline in alleviating kidney damage was investigated. In a 28-day toxicity mouse model, thirty mice were divided into six groups: control (without treatment), l-proline group (10 g/kg body weight (b.w.)), AFB1 group (0.5 mg/kg b.w.), AFM1 (3.5 mg/kg b.w.), AFB1 + l-proline group and AFM1 + l-proline group. Kidney index and biochemical indicators were detected, and pathological staining was observed. Using a human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK 293) cell model, cell apoptosis rate and apoptotic proteins expressions were detected. The results showed that AFB1 and AFM1 activated pathways related with oxidative stress and caused kidney injury; l-proline significantly alleviated abnormal expressions of biochemical parameters and pathological kidney damage, as well as excessive cell apoptosis in the AF-treated models. Moreover, proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) was verified to regulate the levels of l-proline and downstream apoptotic factors (Bax, Bcl-2, and cleaved Caspase-3) compared with the control (p < 0.05). In conclusion, l-proline could protect mouse kidneys from AFB1 and AFM1 through alleviating oxidative damage and decreasing downstream apoptosis, which deserves further research and development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence of Mycotoxigenic Fusarium Species and Competitive Fungi on Preharvest Maize Ear Rot in Poland
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040224 - 15 Apr 2019
Abstract
Maize has become one of the most important crops for food and feed production—both as a silage and crop residue worldwide. The present study aimed to identify the co-occurrence of Fusarium subglutinans, Fusarium verticillioides, Trichoderma atroviride, Sarocladium zeae, and Lecanicillium [...] Read more.
Maize has become one of the most important crops for food and feed production—both as a silage and crop residue worldwide. The present study aimed to identify the co-occurrence of Fusarium subglutinans, Fusarium verticillioides, Trichoderma atroviride, Sarocladium zeae, and Lecanicillium lecanii on maize ear rot. Further, the accumulation of mycotoxins as secondary metabolites of Fusarium spp. in maize ear samples was also analyzed. Maize ear samples were collected between 2014 and 2017 from two main maize growing areas in Poland (Greater Poland and Silesia region). A significant difference was found in the frequency of two main Fusarium spp. that infect maize ears, namely F. subglutinans and F. verticillioides. In addition to Fusarium spp. T. atroviride, S. zeae, and L. lecanii were also identified. T. atroviride species was found in 14% of maize samples examined between 2014 and 2017, particularly with a high percentage of Trichoderma spp. recorded in 2014, i.e., in 31% of samples. However, mycotoxin content (beauvericin and fumonisins) varied, depending on both the location and year of sampling. The interaction of fungi and insects inhabiting maize ear and kernel is very complex and not yet elucidated. Therefore, further research is required in this area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Exposure Assessment and Risk Characterization of Aflatoxin M1 Intake through Consumption of Milk and Yoghurt by Student Population in Serbia and Greece
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040205 - 05 Apr 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The objective of this research was to perform an exposure assessment of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) intake through the consumption of milk and yoghurt by the student population in Serbia and Greece. A food consumption survey of milk and yoghurt was performed during the [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to perform an exposure assessment of aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) intake through the consumption of milk and yoghurt by the student population in Serbia and Greece. A food consumption survey of milk and yoghurt was performed during the first half of 2018 in the two countries with at least 500 interviewees (aged between 18 and 27 years) per country, covering their dietary habits and body weight based on one-day and seven-day recall methods. Values for the concentration of AFM1 were extracted from published research. Finally, a Monte Carlo analysis of 100,000 iterations was performed to estimate the intake of AFM1 from the consumption of the two dairy products. Results revealed that the estimated average exposure of students to AFM1 was in the range of 1.238–2.674 ng kg−1 bw day−1 for Serbia, and 0.350–0.499 ng kg−1 bw day−1 for Greece, depending on the dietary recall method employed. High estimations for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases/year/105 individuals, depending on the prevalence of Hepatitis B virus surface antigen positive individuals (HBsAg+), were 0.0036–0.0047 and 0.0007–0.0009 for Serbia and Greece, respectively. Presented Margin of Exposure (MOE) and Hazard Index (HI) values indicate increased risk from exposure to AFM1, particularly in Serbia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Candida utilis ATCC 9950 Cell Walls and β(1,3)/(1,6)-Glucan Preparations Produced Using Agro-Waste as a Mycotoxins Trap
Toxins 2019, 11(4), 192; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11040192 - 30 Mar 2019
Abstract
Mycotoxins are harmful contaminants of food and feed worldwide. Feed additives with the abilities to trap mycotoxins are considered substances which regulate toxin transfer from feed to tissue, reducing its absorption in animal digestive tract. Market analysis emphasizes growing interest of feed producers [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are harmful contaminants of food and feed worldwide. Feed additives with the abilities to trap mycotoxins are considered substances which regulate toxin transfer from feed to tissue, reducing its absorption in animal digestive tract. Market analysis emphasizes growing interest of feed producers in mycotoxins binders obtained from yeast biomass. The aim of the study was to prescreen cell walls (CW) and β(1,3)/(1,6)-glucan (β-G) preparations isolated from Candida utilis ATCC 9950 cultivated on waste potato juice water with glycerol as adsorbents for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), zearalenone (ZEN), ochratoxin A (OTA), deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), T-2 toxin (T-2) and fumonisin B1 (FB1). The adsorption was studied in single concentration tests at pH 3.0 and 6.0 in the presence of 1% of the adsorbent and 500 ng/mL of individual toxin. Evaluated CW and β-G preparations had the potential to bind ZEN, OTA and AFB1 rather than DON, NIV, T-2 toxin and FB1. The highest percentage of adsorption (about 83%), adsorption capacity (approx. 41 µg/ g preparation) and distribution coefficient (458.7mL/g) was found for zearalenone when CW preparation was used under acidic conditions. Higher protein content in CW and smaller particles sizes of the formulation could influence more efficient binding of ZEN, OTA, DON and T-2 toxin at appropriate pH compared to purified β-G. Obtained results show the possibility to transform the waste potato juice water into valuable Candida utilis ATCC 9950 preparation with mycotoxins adsorption properties. Further research is important to improve the binding capacity of studied preparations by increasing the active surface of adsorption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Evidence for Naturally Produced Beauvericins Containing N-Methyl-Tyrosine in Hypocreales Fungi
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 182; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030182 - 26 Mar 2019
Abstract
Beauvericin is a depsipeptide mycotoxin. The production of several beauvericin analogues has previously been shown among various genera among Hypocreales fungi. This includes so-called beauvenniatins, in which one or more N-methyl-phenylalanine residues is exchanged with other amino acids. In addition, a range [...] Read more.
Beauvericin is a depsipeptide mycotoxin. The production of several beauvericin analogues has previously been shown among various genera among Hypocreales fungi. This includes so-called beauvenniatins, in which one or more N-methyl-phenylalanine residues is exchanged with other amino acids. In addition, a range of “unnatural” beauvericins has been prepared by a precursor addition to growth medium. Our aim was to get insight into the natural production of beauvericin analogues among different Hypocreales fungi, such as Fusarium and Isaria spp. In addition to beauvericin, we tentatively identified six earlier described analogues in the extracts; these were beauvericin A and/or its structural isomer beauvericin F, beauvericin C, beauvericin J, beauvericin D, and beauvenniatin A. Other analogues contained at least one additional oxygen atom. We show that the additional oxygen atom(s) were due to the presence of one to three N-methyl-tyrosine moieties in the depsipeptide molecules by using different liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based approaches. In addition, we also tentatively identified a beauvenniatin that contained N-methyl-leucine, which we named beauvenniatin L. This compound has not been reported before. Our data show that N-methyl-tyrosine containing beauvericins may be among the major naturally produced analogues in certain fungal strains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Occurrence and Exposure Assessment of Aflatoxins and Deoxynivalenol in Cereal-Based Baby Foods for Infants
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030150 - 05 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic to humans and deoxynivalenol causes digestive disorders, and both mycotoxins occur frequently in cereal-based foods. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence and levels of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) and deoxynivalenol (DON) in cereal-based baby [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins are carcinogenic to humans and deoxynivalenol causes digestive disorders, and both mycotoxins occur frequently in cereal-based foods. The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence and levels of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) and deoxynivalenol (DON) in cereal-based baby foods as well as to calculate the estimated daily intakes (EDI) in different stages of infancy. Sixty samples of infant cereals (wheat-, corn-, rice-, oat-, and mixed grain-based) were collected during a 2-year period and analyzed by validated methods. Aflatoxins were detected in 12 samples (20%), six of which exceeded the EU maximum level for aflatoxin B1 set at 0.10 µg/kg. Deoxynivalenol appeared in 20% of baby food samples, with one sample exceeding the EU maximum level established at 200 µg/kg. There were no significant differences between gluten-free products for babies aged 4–6 months and multi-cereal products for infants aged 7–12 months, nor between whole-grain-based and refined ingredients. However, baby food products of organic origin showed significantly higher levels of deoxynivalenol than conventional ones (p < 0.05). It is proposed for the health protection of infants and young children, a vulnerable group, to establish the lowest maximum level for the sum of aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) in baby food. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Metal Ions in Activated Carbon Improve the Detection Efficiency of Aflatoxin-Producing Fungi
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030140 - 02 Mar 2019
Abstract
Aflatoxins (AF), produced by several Aspergillus species, are visible under ultraviolet light if present in high amounts. AF detection can be improved by adding activated carbon, which enhances the observation efficiency of weakly AF-producing fungi. However, commercial activated carbon products differ in their [...] Read more.
Aflatoxins (AF), produced by several Aspergillus species, are visible under ultraviolet light if present in high amounts. AF detection can be improved by adding activated carbon, which enhances the observation efficiency of weakly AF-producing fungi. However, commercial activated carbon products differ in their characteristics, making it necessary to investigate which characteristics affect method reproducibility. Herein, the addition of 10 activated carbon products resulted in different AF production rates in each case. The differences in the production of aflatoxin G1 (AFG1) were roughly correlated to the observation efficiency in the plate culture. Trace element analysis showed that the concentrations of several metal ions differed by factors of >100, and the carbons that most effectively increased AFG1 production contained higher amounts of metal ions. Adding 5 mg L−1 Fe or Mg ions increased AFG1 production even without activated carbon. Furthermore, co-addition of both ions increased AFG1 production stably with the addition of carbon. When varying the concentration of additives, only AFG1 production increased in a concentration-dependent manner, while the production of all the other AFs decreased or remained unchanged. These findings suggest that a key factor influencing AF production is the concentration of several metal ions in activated carbon and that increasing AFG1 production improves AF detectability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Exploring Secondary Metabolite Profiles of Stachybotrys spp. by LC-MS/MS
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030133 - 27 Feb 2019
Abstract
The genus Stachybotrys produces a broad diversity of secondary metabolites, including macrocyclic trichothecenes, atranones, and phenylspirodrimanes. Although the class of the phenylspirodrimanes is the major one and consists of a multitude of metabolites bearing various structural modifications, few investigations have been carried out. [...] Read more.
The genus Stachybotrys produces a broad diversity of secondary metabolites, including macrocyclic trichothecenes, atranones, and phenylspirodrimanes. Although the class of the phenylspirodrimanes is the major one and consists of a multitude of metabolites bearing various structural modifications, few investigations have been carried out. Thus, the presented study deals with the quantitative determination of several secondary metabolites produced by distinct Stachybotrys species for comparison of their metabolite profiles. For that purpose, 15 of the primarily produced secondary metabolites were isolated from fungal cultures and structurally characterized in order to be used as analytical standards for the development of an LC-MS/MS multimethod. The developed method was applied to the analysis of micro-scale extracts from 5 different Stachybotrys strains, which were cultured on different media. In that process, spontaneous dialdehyde/lactone isomerization was observed for some of the isolated secondary metabolites, and novel stachybotrychromenes were quantitatively investigated for the first time. The metabolite profiles of Stachybotrys species are considerably influenced by time of growth and substrate availability, as well as the individual biosynthetic potential of the respective species. Regarding the reported adverse effects associated with Stachybotrys growth in building environments, combinatory effects of the investigated secondary metabolites should be addressed and the role of the phenylspirodrimanes re-evaluated in future research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Common Pathogenic Mechanisms between Homo sapiens and Different Strains of Candida albicans for Drug Design: Systems Biology Approach via Two-Sided NGS Data Identification
Toxins 2019, 11(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11020119 - 15 Feb 2019
Abstract
Candida albicans (C. albicans) is the most prevalent fungal species. Although it is a healthy microbiota, genetic and epigenetic alterations in host and pathogen, and microenvironment changes would lead to thrush, vaginal yeast infection, and even hematogenously disseminated infection. Despite the [...] Read more.
Candida albicans (C. albicans) is the most prevalent fungal species. Although it is a healthy microbiota, genetic and epigenetic alterations in host and pathogen, and microenvironment changes would lead to thrush, vaginal yeast infection, and even hematogenously disseminated infection. Despite the fact that cytotoxicity is well-characterized, few studies discuss the genome-wide genetic and epigenetic molecular mechanisms between host and C. albicans. The aim of this study is to identify drug targets and design a multiple-molecule drug to prevent the infection from C. albicans. To investigate the common and specific pathogenic mechanisms in human oral epithelial OKF6/TERT-2 cells during the C. albicans infection in different strains, systems modeling and big databases mining were used to construct candidate host–pathogen genetic and epigenetic interspecies network (GEIN). System identification and system order detection are applied on two-sided next generation sequencing (NGS) data to build real host–pathogen cross-talk GEINs. Core host–pathogen cross-talk networks (HPCNs) are extracted by principal network projection (PNP) method. By comparing with core HPCNs in different strains of C. albicans, common pathogenic mechanisms were investigated and several drug targets were suggested as follows: orf19.5034 (YBP1) with the ability of anti-ROS; orf19.939 (NAM7), orf19.2087 (SAS2), orf19.1093 (FLO8) and orf19.1854 (HHF22) with high correlation to the hyphae growth and pathogen protein interaction; orf19.5585 (SAP5), orf19.5542 (SAP6) and orf19.4519 (SUV3) with the cause of biofilm formation. Eventually, five corresponding compounds—Tunicamycin, Terbinafine, Cerulenin, Tetracycline and Tetrandrine—with three known drugs could be considered as a potential multiple-molecule drug for therapeutic treatment of C. albicans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Endophytic Beauveria bassiana Inoculation on Infestation Level of Planococcus ficus, Growth and Volatile Constituents of Potted Greenhouse Grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)
Toxins 2019, 11(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11020072 - 28 Jan 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Endophytic entomopathogenic fungi are being explored for the management of phytophagous insect pests. The effects of Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales) inoculation of grape plants on the infestation level of P. ficus, tissue nutrient contents, and growth and volatile constituents of potted grape plants [...] Read more.
Endophytic entomopathogenic fungi are being explored for the management of phytophagous insect pests. The effects of Beauveria bassiana (Hypocreales) inoculation of grape plants on the infestation level of P. ficus, tissue nutrient contents, and growth and volatile constituents of potted grape plants were assessed. Grapevine plants were individually inoculated with a suspension of 1 × 108 conidia mL−1 of B. bassiana by drenching before experimentally infesting each of them with thirty adult females of P. ficus. At four weeks post-treatment, the fungus was re-isolated from leaves of 50% of the fungus-exposed plants. However, no significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed in all the plant growth parameters measured in the fungus-treated and control plants. Plant tissue analysis revealed markedly higher contents of calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) in the leaf tissue of plants exposed to the B. bassiana relative to the control. Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analyses showed that a significantly (X2 = 5.1; p < 0.02) higher number of known anti-insect volatile compounds (nine) were present among fungus treated plants compared to the control plants (five). Naphthalene, which is toxic to insects and humans, was detected only in the volatiles of the fungus-exposed plants. B. bassiana did not have any significant effect on total polyphenol, alkaloid, and flavonoids. Overall, treatment with fungus did not inhibit the infestation by P. ficus. In conclusion, these findings shed light on some of the mechanisms involved in endophytic fungus-plant-insect interactions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
Open AccessArticle
Toxic Indole Diterpenes from Endophyte-Infected Perennial Ryegrass Lolium perenne L.: Isolation and Stability
Toxins 2019, 11(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11010016 - 03 Jan 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The most potent of the indole diterpenes, lolitrem B, is found in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) infected with the endophyte Epichloë festucae var. lolii (also termed LpTG-1). Ingestion causes a neurological syndrome in grazing livestock called ryegrass staggers disease. To [...] Read more.
The most potent of the indole diterpenes, lolitrem B, is found in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) infected with the endophyte Epichloë festucae var. lolii (also termed LpTG-1). Ingestion causes a neurological syndrome in grazing livestock called ryegrass staggers disease. To enable the rapid development of new forage varieties, the toxicity of lolitrem B and its biosynthetic intermediates needs to be established. However, most of these indole diterpenes are not commercially available; thus, isolation of these compounds is paramount. A concentrated endophyte-infected perennial ryegrass seed extract was subjected to silica flash chromatography followed by preparative HPLC and purification by crystallization resulting in lolitrem B and the intermediate compounds lolitrem E, paspaline and terpendole B. The four-step isolation and purification method resulted in a 25% yield of lolitrem B. After isolation, lolitrem B readily degraded to its biosynthetic intermediate, lolitriol. We also found that lolitrem B can readily degrade depending on the solvent and storage conditions. The facile method which takes into consideration the associated instability of lolitrem B, led to the purification of indole diterpenes in quantities sufficient for use as analytical standards for identification in pastures, and/or for toxicity testing in pasture development programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessReview
Prevalent Mycotoxins in Animal Feed: Occurrence and Analytical Methods
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050290 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Today, we have been witnessing a steady tendency in the increase of global demand for maize, wheat, soybeans, and their products due to the steady growth and strengthening of the livestock industry. Thus, animal feed safety has gradually become more important, with mycotoxins [...] Read more.
Today, we have been witnessing a steady tendency in the increase of global demand for maize, wheat, soybeans, and their products due to the steady growth and strengthening of the livestock industry. Thus, animal feed safety has gradually become more important, with mycotoxins representing one of the most significant hazards. Mycotoxins comprise different classes of secondary metabolites of molds. With regard to animal feed, aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxins, trichothecenes, and zearalenone are the more prevalent ones. In this review, several constraints posed by these contaminants at economical and commercial levels will be discussed, along with the legislation established in the European Union to restrict mycotoxins levels in animal feed. In addition, the occurrence of legislated mycotoxins in raw materials and their by-products for the feeds of interest, as well as in the feeds, will be reviewed. Finally, an overview of the different sample pretreatment and detection techniques reported for mycotoxin analysis will be presented, the main weaknesses of current methods will be highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessReview
The Mechanisms of Social Immunity Against Fungal Infections in Eusocial Insects
Toxins 2019, 11(5), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11050244 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Entomopathogenic fungus as well as their toxins is a natural threat surrounding social insect colonies. To defend against them, social insects have evolved a series of unique disease defenses at the colony level, which consists of behavioral and physiological adaptations. These colony-level defenses [...] Read more.
Entomopathogenic fungus as well as their toxins is a natural threat surrounding social insect colonies. To defend against them, social insects have evolved a series of unique disease defenses at the colony level, which consists of behavioral and physiological adaptations. These colony-level defenses can reduce the infection and poisoning risk and improve the survival of societal members, and is known as social immunity. In this review, we discuss how social immunity enables the insect colony to avoid, resist and tolerate fungal pathogens. To understand the molecular basis of social immunity, we highlight several genetic elements and biochemical factors that drive the colony-level defense, which needs further verification. We discuss the chemosensory genes in regulating social behaviors, the antifungal secretions such as some insect venoms in external defense and the immune priming in internal defense. To conclude, we show the possible driving force of the fungal toxins for the evolution of social immunity. Throughout the review, we propose several questions involved in social immunity extended from some phenomena that have been reported. We hope our review about social ‘host–fungal pathogen’ interactions will help us further understand the mechanism of social immunity in eusocial insects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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Open AccessReview
Harmful Effects and Control Strategies of Aflatoxin B1 Produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus Strains on Poultry: Review
Toxins 2019, 11(3), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins11030176 - 23 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
The presence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in poultry diets decreases the hatchability, hatchling weight, growth rate, meat and egg production, meat and egg quality, vaccination efficiency, as well as impairing the feed conversion ratio and increasing the susceptibility of birds [...] Read more.
The presence of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) in poultry diets decreases the hatchability, hatchling weight, growth rate, meat and egg production, meat and egg quality, vaccination efficiency, as well as impairing the feed conversion ratio and increasing the susceptibility of birds to disease and mortality. AFB1 is transferred from poultry feed to eggs, meat, and other edible parts, representing a threat to the health of consumers because AFB1 is carcinogenic and implicated in human liver cancer. This review considers how AFB1 produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus strains can affect the immune system, antioxidant defense system, digestive system, and reproductive system in poultry, as well as its effects on productivity and reproductive performance. Nutritional factors can offset the effects of AFB1 in poultry and, thus, it is necessary to identify and select suitable additives to address the problems caused by AFB1 in poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fungal Infestations in Humans, Animals, Crops)
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