Cereals are infected by a range of biological and chemical contaminants, including fungi, mycotoxins such as DON and HT-2 toxin, bacteria and protozoa. Humans ingesting cereals are therefore exposed to a mixture of contaminants.
DON is present in almost all samples of cereal-based food. Previous estimations of the dietary exposure in Norway indicate that groups of the population may have an intake close to or exceeding the Tolerable Daily Intake; and the levels in grains seems to increase. An improved estimate of the human exposure is therefore needed to ensure that the levels are safe.
Samples of human blood and urine from individuals with a known diet will be analysed for mycotoxins. A database on trichothecenes in food will be made. The intake of trichothecenes will be estimated from both biomonitoring and food data and major sources of trichothecenes in the diet identified. The estimated intake will be compared with the TDIs.
The effects of DON and the sum of T-2 toxin and HT-2 toxins occurring at doses realistic for humans are feed refusal, gastrointestinal disturbances, impairment of the immune system and the reduced formation of blood cells. Naturally infected grains are more toxic than feed with the corresponding levels of pure toxin, suggesting synergistic effects. Here we will explore the possible role of other biological agents, infections for mycotoxin-induced inflammatory effects in primary human immune cells. The effects of priming immune cells with various biological relevant components (receptor ligands) before exposure to selected Fusarium and Alternaria mycotoxins on cytokine production in will be examined. The effects of the most interesting single contaminants and component will be examined in a model on the interaction between the epithelial layer and immune cells will be explored in in vitro and the effects of mixtures will be characterized in the most sensitive model.
- Folkehelseinstituttet (Jørn Holme og Anne Lise Brantsæter)
- Michigan State University (Prof. J Pestka)