Salud publica de Mexico

[Exposure to aflatoxin B1 in experimental animals and its public health significance].

PMID 17589777


The presence of AFB1 in human beings was detected in Mexico in 1996 both as a mutation of the gene p53 in hepatocellular carcinomas in Monterrey, Mexico, and as the adduct AFB1-lysine in serum from patients in Matamoros, Mexico in 2003. Aflatoxin B1 has been classified as a carcinogenic agent to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The compound is a natural contaminant produced by Aspergillus flavus and/or A. parasiticus when these fungi grow on different food products. At the molecular level, this review covers the carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic properties of these mycotoxins and their risk to humans. It also gives insight into the causal relationship between aflatoxins and hepatocellular carcinoma. Information is provided about AFB1-formamidopyrimidine, which is a determinant of the carcinogenic and mutagenic capabilities. The results suggest that the Mexican population ingests food containing low amounts of AFB1. Analyses is presented of AFB1 toxicity, which is a consequence of the carcinogenic activity in liver cells.