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Toxins, Volume 15, Issue 3 (March 2023) – 66 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Acontia is a specialised morphological structure present in a subset of lineages in the superfamily Metrioidea (phylum Cnidaria). This structure is packed with venom-containing organelles, known as nematocysts, which are expelled as a defensive mechanism against predation. The acontia in Calliactis polypus, a species commonly rafted by pumice, contains a relatively high abundance of a sodium channel neurotoxin, known to induce pain and paralysis. The over-representation of a single neurotoxin in this structure supports the recent ‘Dominant Toxin Hypothesis’, where a single toxin or toxin family dominates the venom phenotype in sea anemones. Additionally, the presence of a novel putative toxin with two ShK-like domains was identified in sea anemones. This research highlights the importance of sea anemones in the future of toxinology. View this paper
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30 pages, 1972 KiB  
Review
Freshwater Cyanobacterial Toxins, Cyanopeptides and Neurodegenerative Diseases
by Galina Nugumanova, Eugene D. Ponomarev, Sholpan Askarova, Elizaveta Fasler-Kan and Natasha S. Barteneva
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030233 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4567
Abstract
Cyanobacteria produce a wide range of structurally diverse cyanotoxins and bioactive cyanopeptides in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. The health significance of these metabolites, which include genotoxic- and neurotoxic agents, is confirmed by continued associations between the occurrence of animal and human acute [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria produce a wide range of structurally diverse cyanotoxins and bioactive cyanopeptides in freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems. The health significance of these metabolites, which include genotoxic- and neurotoxic agents, is confirmed by continued associations between the occurrence of animal and human acute toxic events and, in the long term, by associations between cyanobacteria and neurodegenerative diseases. Major mechanisms related to the neurotoxicity of cyanobacteria compounds include (1) blocking of key proteins and channels; (2) inhibition of essential enzymes in mammalian cells such as protein phosphatases and phosphoprotein phosphatases as well as new molecular targets such as toll-like receptors 4 and 8. One of the widely discussed implicated mechanisms includes a misincorporation of cyanobacterial non-proteogenic amino acids. Recent research provides evidence that non-proteinogenic amino acid BMAA produced by cyanobacteria have multiple effects on translation process and bypasses the proof-reading ability of the aminoacyl-tRNA-synthetase. Aberrant proteins generated by non-canonical translation may be a factor in neuronal death and neurodegeneration. We hypothesize that the production of cyanopeptides and non-canonical amino acids is a more general mechanism, leading to mistranslation, affecting protein homeostasis, and targeting mitochondria in eukaryotic cells. It can be evolutionarily ancient and initially developed to control phytoplankton communities during algal blooms. Outcompeting gut symbiotic microorganisms may lead to dysbiosis, increased gut permeability, a shift in blood-brain-barrier functionality, and eventually, mitochondrial dysfunction in high-energy demanding neurons. A better understanding of the interaction between cyanopeptides metabolism and the nervous system will be crucial to target or to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecology and Toxicology of Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins)
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14 pages, 2468 KiB  
Article
Astaxanthin Alleviates Aflatoxin B1-Induced Oxidative Stress and Apoptosis in IPEC-J2 Cells via the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway
by Yue Tian, Haoyu Che, Jinsheng Yang, Yongcheng Jin, Hao Yu, Chuanqi Wang, Yurong Fu, Na Li and Jing Zhang
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 232; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030232 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1699
Abstract
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a typical fungal toxin found in feed, is highly carcinogenic. Oxidative stress is one of the main ways it exerts its toxicity; therefore, finding a suitable antioxidant is the key to reducing its toxicity. Astaxanthin (AST) is a carotenoid with [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a typical fungal toxin found in feed, is highly carcinogenic. Oxidative stress is one of the main ways it exerts its toxicity; therefore, finding a suitable antioxidant is the key to reducing its toxicity. Astaxanthin (AST) is a carotenoid with strong antioxidant properties. The aim of the present research was to determine whether AST eases the AFB1-induced impairment in IPEC-J2 cells, and its specific mechanism of action. AFB1 and AST were applied to IPEC-J2 cells in different concentrations for 24 h. The AST (80 µM) significantly prevented the reduction in the IPEC-J2 cell viability that was induced by AFB1 (10 μM). The results showed that treatment with AST attenuated the AFB1-induced ROS, and cytochrome C, the Bax/Bcl2 ratio, Caspase-9, and Caspase-3, which were all activated by AFB1, were among the pro-apoptotic proteins which were diminished by AST. AST activates the Nrf2 signaling pathway and ameliorates antioxidant ability. This was further evidenced by the expression of the HO-1, NQO1, SOD2, and HSP70 genes were all upregulated. Taken together, the findings show that the impairment of oxidative stress and apoptosis, caused by the AFB1 in the IPEC-J2 cells, can be attenuated by AST triggering the Nrf2 signaling pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remediation Strategies for Mycotoxin in Animal Feed)
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12 pages, 1304 KiB  
Article
Evaluation and Monitoring of the Natural Toxin Ptaquiloside in Bracken Fern, Meat, and Dairy Products
by Hana Park, Yoeseph Cho, JiEun Lee, Kang Mi Lee, Ho Jun Kim, Jaeick Lee, Yong-Sun Bahn and Junghyun Son
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 231; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030231 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2641
Abstract
Ptaquiloside, a naturally occurring cancer-causing substance in bracken fern, has been detected in the meat and milk of cows fed a diet containing bracken fern. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitative analysis of ptaquiloside in bracken fern, meat, and dairy products [...] Read more.
Ptaquiloside, a naturally occurring cancer-causing substance in bracken fern, has been detected in the meat and milk of cows fed a diet containing bracken fern. A rapid and sensitive method for the quantitative analysis of ptaquiloside in bracken fern, meat, and dairy products was developed using the QuEChERS method and liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. The method was validated according to the Association of Official Analytical Chemists guidelines and met the criteria. A single matrix-matched calibration method with bracken fern has been proposed, which is a novel strategy that uses one calibration for multiple matrices. The calibration curve ranged from 0.1 to 50 µg/kg and showed good linearity (r2 > 0.99). The limits of detection and quantification were 0.03 and 0.09 µg/kg, respectively. The intraday and interday accuracies were 83.5–98.5%, and the precision was <9.0%. This method was used for the monitoring and exposure assessment of ptaquiloside in all routes of exposure. A total of 0.1 µg/kg of ptaquiloside was detected in free-range beef, and the daily dietary exposure of South Koreans to ptaquiloside was estimated at up to 3.0 × 10−5 µg/kg b.w./day. The significance of this study is to evaluate commercially available products in which ptaquiloside may be present, to monitor consumer safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Food Hygiene and Food Safety)
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20 pages, 1295 KiB  
Article
Model of the Origin of a Ciguatoxic Grouper (Plectropomus leopardus)
by Michael J. Holmes and Richard J. Lewis
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030230 - 21 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1602
Abstract
Published data were used to model the transfer of ciguatoxins (CTX) across three trophic levels of a marine food chain on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, to produce a mildly toxic common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), one of the most [...] Read more.
Published data were used to model the transfer of ciguatoxins (CTX) across three trophic levels of a marine food chain on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, to produce a mildly toxic common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), one of the most targeted food fishes on the GBR. Our model generated a 1.6 kg grouper with a flesh concentration of 0.1 µg/kg of Pacific-ciguatoxin-1 (P-CTX-1 = CTX1B) from 1.1 to 4.3 µg of P-CTX-1 equivalents (eq.) entering the food chain from 0.7 to 2.7 million benthic dinoflagellates (Gambierdiscus sp.) producing 1.6 pg/cell of the P-CTX-1 precursor, P-CTX-4B (CTX4B). We simulated the food chain transfer of ciguatoxins via surgeonfishes by modelling Ctenochaetus striatus feeding on turf algae. A C. striatus feeding on ≥1000 Gambierdiscus/cm2 of turf algae accumulates sufficient toxin in <2 days that when preyed on, produces a 1.6 kg common coral trout with a flesh concentration of 0.1 µg/kg P-CTX-1. Our model shows that even transient blooms of highly ciguatoxic Gambierdiscus can generate ciguateric fishes. In contrast, sparse cell densities of ≤10 Gambierdiscus/cm2 are unlikely to pose a significant risk, at least in areas where the P-CTX-1 family of ciguatoxins predominate. The ciguatera risk from intermediate Gambierdiscus densities (~100 cells/cm2) is more difficult to assess, as it requires feeding times for surgeonfish (~4–14 days) that overlap with turnover rates of turf algae that are grazed by herbivorous fishes, at least in regions such as the GBR, where stocks of herbivorous fishes are not impacted by fishing. We use our model to explore how the duration of ciguatoxic Gambierdiscus blooms, the type of ciguatoxins they produce, and fish feeding behaviours can produce differences in relative toxicities between trophic levels. Our simple model indicates thresholds for the design of risk and mitigation strategies for ciguatera and the variables that can be manipulated to explore alternate scenarios for the accumulation and transfer of P-CTX-1 analogues through marine food chains and, potentially, for other ciguatoxins in other regions, as more data become available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ciguatoxins 2022–2023)
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16 pages, 2774 KiB  
Article
AgTx2-GFP, Fluorescent Blocker Targeting Pharmacologically Important Kv1.x (x = 1, 3, 6) Channels
by Alexandra L. Primak, Nikita A. Orlov, Steve Peigneur, Jan Tytgat, Anastasia A. Ignatova, Kristina R. Denisova, Sergey A. Yakimov, Mikhail P. Kirpichnikov, Oksana V. Nekrasova and Alexey V. Feofanov
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 229; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030229 - 18 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1618
Abstract
The growing interest in potassium channels as pharmacological targets has stimulated the development of their fluorescent ligands (including genetically encoded peptide toxins fused with fluorescent proteins) for analytical and imaging applications. We report on the properties of agitoxin 2 C-terminally fused with enhanced [...] Read more.
The growing interest in potassium channels as pharmacological targets has stimulated the development of their fluorescent ligands (including genetically encoded peptide toxins fused with fluorescent proteins) for analytical and imaging applications. We report on the properties of agitoxin 2 C-terminally fused with enhanced GFP (AgTx2-GFP) as one of the most active genetically encoded fluorescent ligands of potassium voltage-gated Kv1.x (x = 1, 3, 6) channels. AgTx2-GFP possesses subnanomolar affinities for hybrid KcsA-Kv1.x (x = 3, 6) channels and a low nanomolar affinity to KcsA-Kv1.1 with moderate dependence on pH in the 7.0–8.0 range. Electrophysiological studies on oocytes showed a pore-blocking activity of AgTx2-GFP at low nanomolar concentrations for Kv1.x (x = 1, 3, 6) channels and at micromolar concentrations for Kv1.2. AgTx2-GFP bound to Kv1.3 at the membranes of mammalian cells with a dissociation constant of 3.4 ± 0.8 nM, providing fluorescent imaging of the channel membranous distribution, and this binding depended weakly on the channel state (open or closed). AgTx2-GFP can be used in combination with hybrid KcsA-Kv1.x (x = 1, 3, 6) channels on the membranes of E. coli spheroplasts or with Kv1.3 channels on the membranes of mammalian cells for the search and study of nonlabeled peptide pore blockers, including measurement of their affinity. Full article
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11 pages, 2103 KiB  
Article
The Mycotoxin De-Epoxy-Deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) Increases Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Ovarian Theca Cells
by Angelica D. Reyes-Perea, Hilda M. Guerrero-Netro, Europa Meza-Serrano, Anthony Estienne and Christopher A. Price
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030228 - 17 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1655
Abstract
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a major mycotoxin present in animal feed and negatively affects growth and reproduction in farm species, including pigs and cattle. The mechanism of DON action involves the ribotoxic stress response (RSR), and it acts directly on ovarian granulosa cells to [...] Read more.
Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a major mycotoxin present in animal feed and negatively affects growth and reproduction in farm species, including pigs and cattle. The mechanism of DON action involves the ribotoxic stress response (RSR), and it acts directly on ovarian granulosa cells to increase cell death. In ruminants, DON is metabolized to de-epoxy-DON (DOM-1), which cannot activate the RSR but has been shown to increase cell death in ovarian theca cells. In the present study, we determined if DOM-1 acts on bovine theca cells through endoplasmic stress using an established serum-free cell culture model and to assess whether also DON activates endoplasmic stress in granulosa cells. The results show that DOM-1 increased the cleavage of ATF6 protein, increased the phosphorylation of EIF2AK3, and increased the abundance of cleaved XBP1 mRNA. Activation of these pathways led to an increased abundance of mRNA of the ER stress target genes GRP78, GRP94, and CHOP. Although CHOP is widely associated with autophagy, inhibition of autophagy did not alter the response of theca cells to DOM-1. The addition of DON to granulosa cells partially increased ER stress pathways but failed to increase the abundance of mRNA of ER stress target genes. We conclude that the mechanism of action of DOM-1, at least in bovine theca cells, is through the activation of ER stress. Full article
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18 pages, 1961 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Environmental Factors on Mould Counts and AFB1 Toxin Production by Aspergillus flavus in Maize
by Krisztina Molnár, Csaba Rácz, Tamás Dövényi-Nagy, Károly Bakó, Tünde Pusztahelyi, Szilvia Kovács, Cintia Adácsi, István Pócsi and Attila Dobos
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 227; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030227 - 17 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1768
Abstract
The toxins produced by Aspergillus flavus can significantly inhibit the use of maize. As a result of climate change, toxin production is a problem not only in tropical and subtropical areas but in an increasing number of European countries, including Hungary. The effect [...] Read more.
The toxins produced by Aspergillus flavus can significantly inhibit the use of maize. As a result of climate change, toxin production is a problem not only in tropical and subtropical areas but in an increasing number of European countries, including Hungary. The effect of meteorological factors and irrigation on mould colonization and aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) mycotoxin production by A. flavus were investigated in natural conditions, as well as the inoculation with a toxigenic isolate in a complex field experiment for three years. As a result of irrigation, the occurrence of fungi increased, and toxin production decreased. The mould count of fungi and toxin accumulation showed differences during the examined growing seasons. The highest AFB1 content was found in 2021. The main environmental factors in predicting mould count were temperature (Tavg, Tmax ≥ 30 °C, Tmax ≥ 32 °C, Tmax ≥ 35 °C) and atmospheric drought (RHmin ≤ 40%). Toxin production was determined by extremely high daily maximum temperatures (Tmax ≥ 35 °C). At natural contamination, the effect of Tmax ≥ 35 °C on AFB1 was maximal (r = 0.560–0.569) in the R4 stage. In the case of artificial inoculation, correlations with environmental factors were stronger (r = 0.665–0.834) during the R2–R6 stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection, Control and Contamination of Mycotoxins (Volume II))
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18 pages, 3359 KiB  
Article
Effects of Lactic Acid Bacteria Reducing the Content of Harmful Fungi and Mycotoxins on the Quality of Mixed Fermented Feed
by Yifei Guan, Haoxin Lv, Guofang Wu, Jun Chen, Min Wang, Miao Zhang, Huili Pang, Yaoke Duan, Lei Wang and Zhongfang Tan
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 226; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030226 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2429
Abstract
The contamination of fermented feeds and foods with fungi and mycotoxins is a major food safety issue worldwide. Certain lactic acid bacteria (LAB), generally recognized as safe (GRAS) fermentation probiotics, are able to reduce microbial and mycotoxins contamination. In this study, Lactiplantibacillus ( [...] Read more.
The contamination of fermented feeds and foods with fungi and mycotoxins is a major food safety issue worldwide. Certain lactic acid bacteria (LAB), generally recognized as safe (GRAS) fermentation probiotics, are able to reduce microbial and mycotoxins contamination. In this study, Lactiplantibacillus (L.) plantarum Q1-2 and L. salivarius Q27-2 with antifungal properties were screened as inoculants for mixed fermenting feed, and the fermentation and nutritional qualities, microbial community, and mycotoxins of mixed fermented feed were analyzed at different fermentation periods (1, 3, 7, 15, and 30 days, respectively). The findings indicated that the utilization of Q1-2 and Q27-2 strains in fermenting feed led to a decrease in pH and an increase in lactic acid concentration and the proportion of Lactiplantibacillus, while effectively restraining the proliferation of undesirable microorganisms. In particular, Q1-2 reduced the relative abundance of fungi including Fusarium and Aspergillus. Compared to the control group, the Q1-2 and Q27-2 groups reduced aflatoxin B1 by 34.17% and 16.57%, and deoxynivalenol by up to 90.61% and 51.03%. In short, these two LAB inoculants could reduce the contents of aflatoxin B1 and deoxynivalenol to the limited content levels stipulated by the Chinese National Standard GB 13078-2017. These findings suggest that the LAB strains of Q1-2 and Q27-2 have potential applications in the feed industry for the mitigation of mycotoxin pollution, thereby enhancing the quality of animal feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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20 pages, 3281 KiB  
Article
In-Vitro and In-Silico Investigation for the Spent-Coffee Bioactive Phenolics as a Promising Aflatoxins Production Inhibitor
by Amr Farouk, Tawfiq Alsulami, Hatem S. Ali and Ahmed Noah Badr
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 225; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030225 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1947
Abstract
Aflatoxin, is a naturally occurring polyketide generated by Aspergillus flavus via biosynthetic pathways, including polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal enzymes. The in vitro analysis supported by molecular dynamics (MD) techniques was used to examine the antifungal and anti-aflatoxigenic activity of spent coffee grounds [...] Read more.
Aflatoxin, is a naturally occurring polyketide generated by Aspergillus flavus via biosynthetic pathways, including polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal enzymes. The in vitro analysis supported by molecular dynamics (MD) techniques was used to examine the antifungal and anti-aflatoxigenic activity of spent coffee grounds (SCGs) methanol extract. The High-Performance Liquid Chromatography results revealed the presence of 15 phenolic acids and five flavonoids. (R)-(+)-Rosmarinic acid (176.43 ± 2.41 µg/g) was the predominant of the detected acids, followed by gallic acid (34.83 ± 1.05 µg/g). At the same time, apigenin-7-glucoside is the dominant flavonoid in the SCGs extract by 1717.05 ± 5.76 µg/g, and naringin (97.27 ± 1.97 µg/g) comes next. The antifungal and anti-aflatoxigenic activity of the SCGs extracts was 380 µL/mL and 460 µL/mL, respectively. The SGGs’ effect of inhibiting five Aspergillus strains’ growth on the agar media ranged between 12.81 ± 1.71 to 15.64 ± 1.08 mm by two diffusion assays. Molecular docking results confirmed the inhibitory action of different phenolics and flavonoids on the PKS and NPS key enzymes of the aflatoxin biosynthetic mechanism. The SCGs extract components with the highest free binding energy, naringin (−9.1 kcal/mL) and apigenin 7-glucoside (−9.1 kcal/mol), were subjected to an MD simulation study. The computational results infer the stabilizing effects on the enzymes upon ligand binding led to the impairment in its functionality. The current study represents a novel attempt to assess the anti aflatoxins mechanism of phenolics and flavonoids targeting PKS and NPS via computational approaches compared to in-vitro assays. Full article
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25 pages, 10222 KiB  
Article
Functional and Proteomic Insights into Aculeata Venoms
by Daniel Dashevsky, Kate Baumann, Eivind A. B. Undheim, Amanda Nouwens, Maria P. Ikonomopoulou, Justin O. Schmidt, Lilin Ge, Hang Fai Kwok, Juanita Rodriguez and Bryan G. Fry
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 224; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030224 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2204
Abstract
Aculeate hymenopterans use their venom for a variety of different purposes. The venom of solitary aculeates paralyze and preserve prey without killing it, whereas social aculeates utilize their venom in defence of their colony. These distinct applications of venom suggest that its components [...] Read more.
Aculeate hymenopterans use their venom for a variety of different purposes. The venom of solitary aculeates paralyze and preserve prey without killing it, whereas social aculeates utilize their venom in defence of their colony. These distinct applications of venom suggest that its components and their functions are also likely to differ. This study investigates a range of solitary and social species across Aculeata. We combined electrophoretic, mass spectrometric, and transcriptomic techniques to characterize the compositions of venoms from an incredibly diverse taxon. In addition, in vitro assays shed light on their biological activities. Although there were many common components identified in the venoms of species with different social behavior, there were also significant variations in the presence and activity of enzymes such as phospholipase A2s and serine proteases and the cytotoxicity of the venoms. Social aculeate venom showed higher presence of peptides that cause damage and pain in victims. The venom-gland transcriptome from the European honeybee (Apis mellifera) contained highly conserved toxins which match those identified by previous investigations. In contrast, venoms from less-studied taxa returned limited results from our proteomic databases, suggesting that they contain unique toxins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Invertebrate Venomics)
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23 pages, 3199 KiB  
Article
Local and Traditional Ecological Knowledge of Fish Poisoning in Fiji
by Jimaima Veisikiaki Lako, Sereima Naisilisili, Veikila C. Vuki, Nanise Kuridrani and Dominic Agyei
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 223; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030223 - 16 Mar 2023
Viewed by 3601
Abstract
Fish poisoning (FP) affects human health, trade and livelihood in Fiji, where management has depended mainly on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). This paper investigated and documented this TEK through a 2-day stakeholder workshop, group consultation, in-depth interviews, field observations, and analyses of survey [...] Read more.
Fish poisoning (FP) affects human health, trade and livelihood in Fiji, where management has depended mainly on traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). This paper investigated and documented this TEK through a 2-day stakeholder workshop, group consultation, in-depth interviews, field observations, and analyses of survey data from the Ministry of Fisheries, Fiji. Six TEK topics were identified and classified as preventative and treatment options. The preventive approach involves identifying toxic reef fishes, the spawning season of edible seaworms, hotspot areas of toxic fishes, folk tests, and locating and removing toxic organs. For example, 34 reef fish species were identified as toxic. The FP season was associated with the spawning of balolo (edible seaworm) and the warmer months of October to April (cyclone seasons). Two well-known toxic hotspots associated with an abundance of bulewa (soft coral) were identified. Folk tests and locating and removing toxic fish organs are also practised for moray eels and pufferfish. At the same time, various locally available herbal plants are used to treat FP as the second line of defence. The TEK collated in this work can help local authorities better identify the sources of toxicity, and applying TEK preventive measures could stem the tide of fish poisoning in Fiji. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ciguatoxins 2022–2023)
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14 pages, 2888 KiB  
Article
Detection of T-2 Toxin in Wheat and Maize with a Portable Mass Spectrometer
by Chris M. Maragos
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030222 - 16 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1502
Abstract
T-2 toxin is a mycotoxin routinely found as a contaminant of cereal grains worldwide. A portable mass spectrometer was adapted to enable the detection of T-2 toxin in wheat and maize by APCI-MS. In order to facilitate rapid testing, a rapid cleanup was [...] Read more.
T-2 toxin is a mycotoxin routinely found as a contaminant of cereal grains worldwide. A portable mass spectrometer was adapted to enable the detection of T-2 toxin in wheat and maize by APCI-MS. In order to facilitate rapid testing, a rapid cleanup was used. The method was able to detect T-2 toxin in soft white wheat, hard red wheat, and yellow dent maize and could be used to screen for T-2 at levels above 0.2 mg/kg. The HT-2 toxin was only detectable at very high levels (>0.9 mg/kg). Based on these results, the sensitivity was not sufficient to allow the application of the screening method to these commodities at levels recommended by the European Commission. With a cut-off level of 0.107 mg/kg, the method correctly classified nine of ten reference samples of wheat and maize. The results suggest that portable MS detection of T-2 toxin is feasible. However, additional research will be needed to develop an application sensitive enough to meet regulatory requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection, Control and Contamination of Mycotoxins (Volume II))
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10 pages, 638 KiB  
Review
Intravesical Injection of Botulinum Toxin Type A in Men without Bladder Outlet Obstruction and Post-Deobstructive Prostate Surgery
by Hsiang-Ying Lee and Hann-Chorng Kuo
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030221 - 15 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1694
Abstract
Purpose: A significant proportion of men without bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) have been reported to have overactive bladders (OAB). This article aimed to review the specific group of reports on the use of botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections into the bladder wall. [...] Read more.
Purpose: A significant proportion of men without bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) have been reported to have overactive bladders (OAB). This article aimed to review the specific group of reports on the use of botulinum toxin type A (BTX-A) injections into the bladder wall. Materials and methods: Original articles reporting men with small prostates without BOO were identified through a literature search using the PubMed and EMBASE databases. Finally, we included 18 articles that reviewed the efficacy and adverse effects of BTX-A injections in men. Results: Of the 18 articles screened, 13 demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy and adverse effects of BTX-A injections in men. Three studies compared BTX-A injection response between patients without prior prostate surgery and those undergoing prior prostate surgery, including transurethral resection of the prostate and radical prostatectomy (RP). Patients with prior RP experienced better efficacy and had a low risk of side effects. Two studies focused on patients who had undergone prior surgery for stress urinary incontinence, including male sling and artificial urethral sphincter surgery. The BTX-A injection was a safe and effective procedure for this specific group. OAB in men was found to have a different pathophysiology mechanism from that in female patients, which may decrease the efficacy of BTX-A injection in men. However, patients with small prostates and low prostate-specific antigen levels demonstrated better efficacy and tolerability after BTX-A injection. Conclusions: Although intravesical injection of BTX-A was a good option for controlling refractory OAB in men, the evidence-based guidelines are still limited. Further research is necessary to better understand the role of BTX-A injections on various aspects and histories. Therefore, treating patients using strategies tailored to their individual conditions is important. Full article
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16 pages, 3098 KiB  
Article
Discovery of a High-Efficient Algicidal Bacterium against Microcystis aeruginosa Based on Examinations toward Culture Strains and Natural Bloom Samples
by He Zhang, Yan Xie, Rongzhen Zhang, Zhongliang Zhang, Xinglong Hu, Yao Cheng, Ruozhen Geng, Zengling Ma and Renhui Li
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 220; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030220 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1932
Abstract
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms occur worldwide and pose a great threat to aquatic ecosystems and public health. The application of algicidal bacteria represents an eco-friendly strategy for controlling harmful cyanobacterial blooms; thus, searching for a high efficiency of algicidal bacteria has been becoming an [...] Read more.
Harmful cyanobacterial blooms occur worldwide and pose a great threat to aquatic ecosystems and public health. The application of algicidal bacteria represents an eco-friendly strategy for controlling harmful cyanobacterial blooms; thus, searching for a high efficiency of algicidal bacteria has been becoming an important and continuous task in science. Herein, we identified a bacterial strain coded Streptomyces sp. HY with a highly algicidal activity, and investigated its algicidal efficiency and mechanism against Microcystis aeruginosa. The strain HY displayed high algicidal activity toward Microcystis aeruginosa cells, with a removal rate of 93.04% within 2 days via indirect attack. Streptomyces sp. HY also showed the ability to lyse several genera of cyanobacterial strains, including Dolichospermum, Pseudanabaena, Anabaena, and Synechocystis, whereas it showed a minor impact on the green alga Scenedesmus obliquus, demonstrating its selectivity specially for targeting cyanobacteria. Its algicidal mechanism involved damages to the photosynthesis system, morphological injury of algal cells, oxidative stress, and dysfunction of the DNA repair system. Furthermore, HY treatment reduced the expression levels of genes (mcyB and mcyD) related to microcystin biosynthesis and decreased the total content of microcystin-leucine-arginine by 79.18%. Collectively, these findings suggested that the algicidal bacteria HY is a promising candidate for harmful cyanobacterial bloom control. Full article
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10 pages, 3792 KiB  
Article
The Mechanism of Ochratoxin Contamination of Artificially Inoculated Licorice Roots
by Abdelrahman Elamin, Hirofumi Enomoto, Maiko Watanabe and Shohei Sakuda
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 219; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030219 - 13 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
Ochratoxin (OT) contamination of medicinal herbs is a serious threat to human health. This study was performed to investigate the mechanism of OT contamination of licorice (Glycyrrhiza sp.) root. Licorice root samples were cut into eight parts, which were placed separately on [...] Read more.
Ochratoxin (OT) contamination of medicinal herbs is a serious threat to human health. This study was performed to investigate the mechanism of OT contamination of licorice (Glycyrrhiza sp.) root. Licorice root samples were cut into eight parts, which were placed separately on sucrose-free Czapek Dox agar medium, inoculated with the spores of ochratoxigenic Aspergillus westerdijkiae. After incubation for 10 and 20 days, the OT contents of the samples were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography, and microtome sections prepared from the samples were analyzed by desorption electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry, to visualize OT localization. The same sections were further examined by light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the path of fungal mycelial penetration of the inner roots. OT concentrations tended to increase from the upper- to the middle-root parts. OTs were located in cut areas and areas of cork layer damage; they were not present in the undamaged cork layer, indicating that the structure of this layer prevents OT contamination of the licorice root. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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14 pages, 2681 KiB  
Article
Acontia, a Specialised Defensive Structure, Has Low Venom Complexity in Calliactis polypus
by Hayden L. Smith, Peter J. Prentis, Scott E. Bryan, Raymond S. Norton and Daniel A. Broszczak
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 218; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030218 - 12 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1630
Abstract
Phylum Cnidaria represents a unique group among venomous taxa, with its delivery system organised as individual organelles, known as nematocysts, heterogeneously distributed across morphological structures rather than packaged as a specialised organ. Acontia are packed with large nematocysts that are expelled from sea [...] Read more.
Phylum Cnidaria represents a unique group among venomous taxa, with its delivery system organised as individual organelles, known as nematocysts, heterogeneously distributed across morphological structures rather than packaged as a specialised organ. Acontia are packed with large nematocysts that are expelled from sea anemones during aggressive encounters with predatory species and are found in a limited number of species in the superfamily Metridioidea. Little is known about this specialised structure other than the commonly accepted hypothesis of its role in defence and a rudimentary understanding of its toxin content and activity. This study utilised previously published transcriptomic data and new proteomic analyses to expand this knowledge by identifying the venom profile of acontia in Calliactis polypus. Using mass spectrometry, we found limited toxin diversity in the proteome of acontia, with an abundance of a sodium channel toxin type I, and a novel toxin with two ShK-like domains. Additionally, genomic evidence suggests that the proposed novel toxin is ubiquitous across sea anemone lineages. Overall, the venom profile of acontia in Calliactis polypus and the novel toxin identified here provide the basis for future research to define the function of acontial toxins in sea anemones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cnidarian Venom)
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11 pages, 1604 KiB  
Article
Artificial Substrates Coupled with qPCR (AS-qPCR) Assay for the Detection of the Toxic Benthopelagic Dinoflagellate Vulcanodinium rugosum
by Aurélien Bouquet, Christine Felix, Estelle Masseret, Coralie Reymond, Eric Abadie, Mohamed Laabir and Jean Luc Rolland
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 217; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030217 - 11 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1411
Abstract
Vulcanodinium rugosum is an emerging benthopelagic neuro-toxic dinoflagellate species responsible for seasonal Pinnatoxins and Portimines contaminations of shellfish and marine animals. This species is challenging to detect in the environment, as it is present in low abundance and difficult to be identified using [...] Read more.
Vulcanodinium rugosum is an emerging benthopelagic neuro-toxic dinoflagellate species responsible for seasonal Pinnatoxins and Portimines contaminations of shellfish and marine animals. This species is challenging to detect in the environment, as it is present in low abundance and difficult to be identified using light microscopy. In this work, we developed a method using artificial substrates coupled with qPCR (AS-qPCR) to detect V. rugosum in a marine environment. This sensitive, specific and easy-to-standardize alternative to current techniques does not require specialized expertise in taxonomy. After determining the limits and specificity of the qPCR, we searched for the presence of V. rugosum in four French Mediterranean lagoons using artificial substrates collected every two weeks for one year. The AS-qPCR method revealed its occurrences in summer 2021 in every studied lagoon and detected cells in more samples than light microscopy. As V. rugosum development induces shellfish contamination even at low microalga densities, the AS-qPCR method is accurate and relevant for monitoring V. rugosum in a marine environment. Full article
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14 pages, 3444 KiB  
Article
Efficient Inhibition of Aspergillus flavus to Reduce Aflatoxin Contamination on Peanuts over Ag-Loaded Titanium Dioxide
by Dandan Yang, Hailian Wei, Xianglong Yang, Ling Cheng, Qi Zhang, Peiwu Li and Jin Mao
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030216 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1735
Abstract
Peanuts are susceptible to aflatoxins produced by Aspergillus flavus. Exploring green, efficient, and economical ways to inhibit Aspergillus flavus is conducive to controlling aflatoxin contamination from the source. In this study, Ag-loaded titanium dioxide composites showed more than 90% inhibition rate against [...] Read more.
Peanuts are susceptible to aflatoxins produced by Aspergillus flavus. Exploring green, efficient, and economical ways to inhibit Aspergillus flavus is conducive to controlling aflatoxin contamination from the source. In this study, Ag-loaded titanium dioxide composites showed more than 90% inhibition rate against Aspergillus flavus under visible light irradiation for 15 min. More importantly, this method could also reduce the contaminated level of Aspergillus flavus to prevent aflatoxins production in peanuts, and the concentrations of aflatoxin B1, B2, and G2 were decreased by 96.02 ± 0.19%, 92.50 ± 0.45%, and 89.81 ± 0.52%, respectively. It was found that there are no obvious effects on peanut quality by evaluating the changes in acid value, peroxide value, and the content of fat, protein, polyphenols, and resveratrol after inhibition treatment. The inhibition mechanism was that these reactive species (•O2, •OH, h+, and e) generated from photoreaction destroyed cell structures, then led to the reduced viability of Aspergillus flavus spores. This study provides useful information for constructing a green and efficient inhibition method for Aspergillus flavus on peanuts to control aflatoxin contamination, which is potentially applied in the field of food and agri-food preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Pathogenic Fungi and Mycotoxins in China (Volume II))
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24 pages, 1515 KiB  
Review
Recent Insights into Sample Pretreatment Methods for Mycotoxins in Different Food Matrices: A Critical Review on Novel Materials
by Yu Bian, Yuan Zhang, Yu Zhou, Binbin Wei and Xuesong Feng
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 215; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030215 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2470
Abstract
Mycotoxins pollution is a global concern, and can pose a serious threat to human health. People and livestock eating contaminated food will encounter acute and chronic poisoning symptoms, such as carcinogenicity, acute hepatitis, and a weakened immune system. In order to prevent or [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins pollution is a global concern, and can pose a serious threat to human health. People and livestock eating contaminated food will encounter acute and chronic poisoning symptoms, such as carcinogenicity, acute hepatitis, and a weakened immune system. In order to prevent or reduce the exposure of human beings and livestock to mycotoxins, it is necessary to screen mycotoxins in different foods efficiently, sensitively, and selectively. Proper sample preparation is very important for the separation, purification, and enrichment of mycotoxins from complex matrices. This review provides a comprehensive summary of mycotoxins pretreatment methods since 2017, including traditionally used methods, solid-phase extraction (SPE)-based methods, liquid-liquid extraction (LLE)-based methods, matrix solid phase dispersion (MSPD), QuEChERS, and so on. The novel materials and cutting-edge technologies are systematically and comprehensively summarized. Moreover, we discuss and compare the pros and cons of different pretreatment methods and suggest a prospect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Strategies for Extraction and Analysis of Mycotoxins in Food)
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19 pages, 1805 KiB  
Review
Prevalence and Concentration of Mycotoxins in Animal Feed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Ghader Jalilzadeh-Amin, Bahram Dalir-Naghadeh, Masoud Ahmadnejad-Asl-Gavgani, Aziz A. Fallah and Amin Mousavi Khaneghah
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 214; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030214 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2411
Abstract
This study seeks a comprehensive meta-analysis of mycotoxin contaminants in animal feed consumed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The obtained articles were reviewed, and 49 articles that investigated the contamination of mycotoxins including aflatoxins (AFs), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), [...] Read more.
This study seeks a comprehensive meta-analysis of mycotoxin contaminants in animal feed consumed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The obtained articles were reviewed, and 49 articles that investigated the contamination of mycotoxins including aflatoxins (AFs), deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), T-2 toxin, fumonisins (FUM), and ochratoxin A (OTA), in feed samples or components of animal feed in the MENA region were selected. The titles of the final articles included in the study were meta-analyzed. Necessary information was extracted and categorized from the articles, and a meta-analysis was performed using Stata software. The highest contamination was in dry bread (80%), and Algeria was the most contaminated country (87% of animal feed), with the most mycotoxins contaminating AFs (47%) and FUM (47%). The highest concentration of mycotoxins in animal feed is related to FUM (1240.01 μg/kg). Climate change, economic situation, agricultural and processing methods, the nature of the animal feed, and improper use of food waste in animal feed are among the most critical factors that are effective in the occurrence of mycotoxin contamination in animal feed in MENA. Control of influential factors in the occurrence of contaminations and rapid screening with accurate identification methods to prevent the occurrence and spread of mycotoxin contamination of animal feed seem important. Full article
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30 pages, 5024 KiB  
Article
Water Quality, Toxicity and Diversity of Planktonic and Benthic Cyanobacteria in Pristine Ancient Lake Khubsugul (Hövsgöl), Mongolia
by Olga I. Belykh, Ekaterina G. Sorokovikova, Irina V. Tomberg, Galina A. Fedorova, Anton V. Kuzmin, Andrey Yu. Krasnopeev, Maria Yu. Suslova, Sergey A. Potapov, Tatiana I. Belykh, Jadambaa Norovsuren, Agnia D. Galachyants and Irina V. Tikhonova
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 213; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030213 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2240
Abstract
For the first time, microcystin-producing cyanobacteria have been detected in Khubsugul, which is ancient, pristine and one of the world’s largest lakes. The microcystin synthetase genes belonged to the genera Nostoc, Microcystis and possibly Snowella spp. No microcystins were found in the [...] Read more.
For the first time, microcystin-producing cyanobacteria have been detected in Khubsugul, which is ancient, pristine and one of the world’s largest lakes. The microcystin synthetase genes belonged to the genera Nostoc, Microcystis and possibly Snowella spp. No microcystins were found in the water of the lake. Using the HPLC-HRMS/TOF, five microcystin congeners were identified in biofilms from stony substrates sampled in the coastal zone. The concentration of microcystins in biofilms was low: 41.95 µg g−1 d. wt. by ELISA and 55.8 µg g−1 d. wt. using HPLC. The taxonomic composition of planktonic and benthic cyanobacterial communities was determined by means of microscopy and high-throughput sequencing of 16S rDNA amplicons. Nostocales cyanobacteria dominated benthos of Lake Khubsugul and Synechococcales—plankton. The abundance of cyanobacteria was low both in plankton and benthos; there was no mass development of cyanobacteria. Hydrochemical and microbiological analyses showed that the water in the lake was clean; the number of faecal microorganisms was significantly below the acceptable guideline values. Hydrochemical and hydrophysical parameters, and the concentration of chlorophyll a, were low and within the range of values recorded in the 1970s to 1990s, and corresponded to the oligotrophic state of the lake. There were no signs of anthropogenic eutrophication of the lake and no conditions for the cyanobacterial blooms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cyanobacterial Toxins: Toxins Production and Risk Assessment)
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2 pages, 209 KiB  
Editorial
Toxinology and Pharmacology of Snake Venoms
by Igor Križaj
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 212; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030212 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1249
Abstract
Evolution endowed snakes with the ultimate weapon: venom [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxinology and Pharmacology of Snake Venoms)
17 pages, 2288 KiB  
Article
Bacillus thuringiensis Cyt Proteins as Enablers of Activity of Cry and Tpp Toxins against Aedes albopictus
by Liliana Lai, Maite Villanueva, Ane Muruzabal-Galarza, Ana Beatriz Fernández, Argine Unzue, Alejandro Toledo-Arana, Primitivo Caballero and Carlos J. Caballero
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030211 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2404
Abstract
Aedes albopictus is a species of mosquito, originally from Southeast Asia, that belongs to the Culicidae family and the Dipteran insect order. The distribution of this vector has rapidly changed over the past decade, making most of the temperate territories in the world [...] Read more.
Aedes albopictus is a species of mosquito, originally from Southeast Asia, that belongs to the Culicidae family and the Dipteran insect order. The distribution of this vector has rapidly changed over the past decade, making most of the temperate territories in the world vulnerable to important human vector-borne diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, zika or chikungunya. Bacillus thuringiensis var. israeliensis (Bti)-based insecticides represent a realistic alternative to the most common synthetic insecticides for the control of mosquito larvae. However, several studies have revealed emerging resistances to the major Bti Crystal proteins such as Cry4Aa, Cry4Ba and Cry11Aa, making the finding of new toxins necessary to diminish the exposure to the same toxicity factors overtime. Here, we characterized the individual activity of Cyt1Aa, Cry4Aa, Cry4Ba and Cry11Aa against A. albopictus and found a new protein, Cyt1A-like, that increases the activity of Cry11Aa more than 20-fold. Additionally, we demonstrated that Cyt1A-like facilitates the activity three new Bti toxins: Cry53-like, Cry56A-like and Tpp36-like. All in all, these results provide alternatives to the currently available Bti products for the control of mosquito populations and position Cyt proteins as enablers of activity for otherwise non-active crystal proteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacillus thuringiensis: A Broader View of Its Biocidal Activity)
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15 pages, 463 KiB  
Article
Detoxification of Aflatoxins in Fermented Cereal Gruel (Ogi) by Probiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria and Yeasts with Differences in Amino Acid Profiles
by Kolawole Banwo, Taiwo Adesina, Olubunmi Aribisala and Titilayo D. O. Falade
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030210 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1718
Abstract
Toxigenic members of Aspergillus flavus contaminate cereal grains, resulting in contamination by aflatoxin, a food safety hazard that causes hepatocellular carcinoma. This study identified probiotic strains as aflatoxin detoxifiers and investigated the changes to the grain amino acid concentrations during fermentation with probiotics in [...] Read more.
Toxigenic members of Aspergillus flavus contaminate cereal grains, resulting in contamination by aflatoxin, a food safety hazard that causes hepatocellular carcinoma. This study identified probiotic strains as aflatoxin detoxifiers and investigated the changes to the grain amino acid concentrations during fermentation with probiotics in the presence of either A. flavus La 3228 (an aflatoxigenic strain) or A. flavus La 3279 (an atoxigenic strain). Generally, higher concentrations (p < 0.05) of amino acids were detected in the presence of toxigenic A. flavus La 3228 compared to the atoxigenic A. flavus La 3279. Compared to the control, 13/17 amino acids had elevated (p < 0.05) concentrations in the presence of the toxigenic A. flavus compared to the control, whereas in systems with the atoxigenic A. flavus 13/17 amino acids had similar (p > 0.05) concentrations to the control. There were interspecies and intraspecies differences in specific amino acid elevations or reductions among selected LAB and yeasts, respectively. Aflatoxins B1 and B2 were detoxified by Limosilactobacillus fermentum W310 (86% and 75%, respectively), Lactiplantibacillus plantarum M26 (62% and 63%, respectively), Candida tropicalis MY115 (60% and 77%, respectively), and Candida tropicalis YY25, (60% and 31%, respectively). Probiotics were useful detoxifiers; however, the extent of decontamination was species- and strain-dependent. Higher deviations in amino acid concentrations in the presence of toxigenic La 3228 compared to atoxigenic La 3279 suggests that the detoxifiers did not act by decreasing the metabolic activity of the toxigenic strain. Full article
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17 pages, 1870 KiB  
Article
Contamination and Health Risk Assessment of Multiple Mycotoxins in Edible and Medicinal Plants
by Yingyue Zhang, Fengyan Kuang, Chunyao Liu, Kai Ma, Tianyu Liu, Meijuan Zhao, Guangping Lv and He Huang
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030209 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1819
Abstract
Edible and medicinal plants (EMPs) are widely used but are easily infected by harmful fungi which produce mycotoxins. Herein, 127 samples from 11 provinces were collected to investigate 15 mycotoxins based on geographic, demographic, processing, and risk characteristics. A total of 13 mycotoxins [...] Read more.
Edible and medicinal plants (EMPs) are widely used but are easily infected by harmful fungi which produce mycotoxins. Herein, 127 samples from 11 provinces were collected to investigate 15 mycotoxins based on geographic, demographic, processing, and risk characteristics. A total of 13 mycotoxins were detected, and aflatoxin B1 (0.56~97.00 μg/kg), deoxynivalenol (9.41~1570.35 μg/kg), fumonisin B1 (8.25~1875.77 μg/kg), fumonisin B2 (2.74~543.01 μg/kg), ochratoxin A (0.62~19.30 μg/kg), and zearalenone (1.64~2376.58 μg/kg) occurred more frequently. Mycotoxin levels and species were significantly different by region, types of EMPs, and method of processing. The margin of exposure (MOE) values was well below the safe MOE (10,000). AFB1 exposure from Coix seed and malt consumption in China was of high health concern. The hazard Index (HI) method showed the range of 113.15~130.73% for malt, indicating a public health concern. In conclusion, EMPs should be concerned because of the cumulative effects of co-occurred mycotoxins, and safety management strategies should be developed in follow-up studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies to Prevent Mycotoxin Contamination of Food and Feed)
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15 pages, 29506 KiB  
Article
Mapping the Immune Cell Microenvironment with Spatial Profiling in Muscle Tissue Injected with the Venom of Daboia russelii
by Ana K. de Oliveira, Patcharin Pramoonjago, Alexandra Rucavado, Christopher Moskaluk, Dilza T. Silva, Teresa Escalante, José María Gutiérrez and Jay W. Fox
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030208 - 10 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2340
Abstract
Pathological and inflammatory events in muscle after the injection of snake venoms vary in different regions of the affected tissue and at different time intervals. In order to study such heterogeneity in the immune cell microenvironment, a murine model of muscle necrosis based [...] Read more.
Pathological and inflammatory events in muscle after the injection of snake venoms vary in different regions of the affected tissue and at different time intervals. In order to study such heterogeneity in the immune cell microenvironment, a murine model of muscle necrosis based on the injection of the venom of Daboia russelii was used. Histological and immunohistochemical methods were utilized to identify areas in muscle tissue with a different extent of muscle cell damage, based on the presence of hypercontracted muscle cells, a landmark of necrosis, and on the immunostaining for desmin. A gradient of inflammatory cells (neutrophils and macrophages) was observed from heavily necrotic areas to less damaged and non-necrotic areas. GeoMx® Digital Spatial Profiler (NanoString, Seattle, WA, USA) was used for assessing the presence of markers of various immune cells by comparing high-desmin (nondamaged) and low-desmin (damaged) regions of muscle. Markers of monocytes, macrophages, M2 macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, leukocyte adhesion and migration markers, and hematopoietic precursor cells showed higher levels in low-desmin regions, especially in samples collected 24 hr after venom injection, whereas several markers of lymphocytes did not. Moreover, apoptosis (BAD) and extracellular matrix (fibronectin) markers were also increased in low-desmin regions. Our findings reveal a hitherto-unknown picture of immune cell microheterogeneity in venom-injected muscle which greatly depends on the extent of muscle cell damage and the time lapse after venom injection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Venoms)
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15 pages, 4108 KiB  
Article
Shiga Toxin (Stx) Type 1a and Stx2a Translocate through a Three-Layer Intestinal Model
by Rebecca A. Bova, Andrew C. Lamont, Theodore J. Picou, Vincent B. Ho, Kristin H. Gilchrist and Angela R. Melton-Celsa
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030207 - 09 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1716
Abstract
Shiga toxins (Stxs) produced by ingested E. coli can induce hemolytic uremic syndrome after crossing the intact intestinal barrier, entering the bloodstream, and targeting endothelial cells in the kidney. The method(s) by which the toxins reach the bloodstream are not fully defined. Here, [...] Read more.
Shiga toxins (Stxs) produced by ingested E. coli can induce hemolytic uremic syndrome after crossing the intact intestinal barrier, entering the bloodstream, and targeting endothelial cells in the kidney. The method(s) by which the toxins reach the bloodstream are not fully defined. Here, we used two polarized cell models to evaluate Stx translocation: (i) a single-layer primary colonic epithelial cell model and (ii) a three-cell-layer model with colonic epithelial cells, myofibroblasts, and colonic endothelial cells. We traced the movement of Stx types 1a and 2a across the barrier models by measuring the toxicity of apical and basolateral media on Vero cells. We found that Stx1a and Stx2a crossed both models in either direction. However, approximately 10-fold more Stx translocated in the three-layer model as compared to the single-layer model. Overall, the percentage of toxin that translocated was about 0.01% in the epithelial-cell-only model but up to 0.09% in the three-cell-layer model. In both models, approximately 3- to 4-fold more Stx2a translocated than Stx1a. Infection of the three-cell-layer model with Stx-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) strains showed that serotype O157:H7 STEC reduced barrier function in the model and that the damage was not dependent on the presence of the eae gene. Infection of the three-layer model with O26:H11 STEC strain TW08571 (Stx1a+ and Stx2a+), however, allowed translocation of modest amounts of Stx without reducing barrier function. Deletion of stx2a from TW08571 or the use of anti-Stx1 antibody prevented translocation of toxin. Our results suggest that single-cell models may underestimate the amount of Stx translocation and that the more biomimetic three-layer model is suited for Stx translocation inhibitor studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Shiga Toxins)
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19 pages, 3451 KiB  
Article
Effects of Exposure to Low Zearalenone Concentrations Close to the EU Recommended Value on Weaned Piglets’ Colon
by Iulian Alexandru Grosu, Cristina Valeria Bulgaru, Gina Cecilia Pistol, Ana Cismileanu, Daniela Eliza Marin and Ionelia Taranu
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 206; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030206 - 09 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1587
Abstract
Pigs are the most sensitive animal to zearalenone (ZEN) contamination, especially after weaning, with acute deleterious effects on different health parameters. Although recommendations not to exceed 100 µg/kg in piglets feed exists (2006/576/EC), there are no clear regulations concerning the maximum limit in [...] Read more.
Pigs are the most sensitive animal to zearalenone (ZEN) contamination, especially after weaning, with acute deleterious effects on different health parameters. Although recommendations not to exceed 100 µg/kg in piglets feed exists (2006/576/EC), there are no clear regulations concerning the maximum limit in feed for piglets, which means that more investigations are necessary to establish a guidance value. Due to these reasons, the present study aims to investigate if ZEN, at a concentration lower than the EC recommendation for piglets, might affect the microbiota or induce changes in SCFA synthesis and can trigger modifications of nutritional, physiological, and immunological markers in the colon (intestinal integrity through junction protein analysis and local immunity through IgA production). Consequently, the effect of two concentrations of zearalenone were tested, one below the limit recommended by the EC (75 µg/kg) and a higher one (290 µg/kg) for comparison reasons. Although exposure to contaminated feed with 75 µg ZEN/kg feed did not significantly affect the observed parameters, the 290 µg/kg feed altered several microbiota population abundances and the secretory IgA levels. The obtained results contribute to a better understanding of the adverse effects that ZEN can have in the colon of young pigs in a dose-dependent manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mycotoxins)
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19 pages, 2915 KiB  
Review
Destruction of Mycotoxins in Poultry Waste under Anaerobic Conditions within Methanogenesis Catalyzed by Artificial Microbial Consortia
by Elena Efremenko, Olga Senko, Olga Maslova, Ilya Lyagin, Aysel Aslanli and Nikolay Stepanov
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 205; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030205 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1654
Abstract
To reduce the toxicity of modern feeds polluted by mycotoxins, various sorbents are added to them when feeding animals. A part of the mycotoxins is excreted from the body of animals with these sorbents and remains in the manure. As a result, bulk [...] Read more.
To reduce the toxicity of modern feeds polluted by mycotoxins, various sorbents are added to them when feeding animals. A part of the mycotoxins is excreted from the body of animals with these sorbents and remains in the manure. As a result, bulk animal wastes containing mixtures of mycotoxins are formed. It is known that it is partially possible to decrease the initial concentration of mycotoxins in the process of anaerobic digestion (AD) of contaminated methanogenic substrates. The aim of this review was to analyze the recent results in destruction of mycotoxins under the action of enzymes present in cells of anaerobic consortia catalyzing methanogenesis of wastes. The possible improvement of the functioning of the anaerobic artificial consortia during detoxification of mycotoxins in the bird droppings is discussed. Particular attention was paid to the possibility of effective functioning of microbial enzymes that catalyze the detoxification of mycotoxins, both at the stage of preparation of poultry manure for methanogenesis and directly in the anaerobic process itself. The sorbents with mycotoxins which appeared in the poultry wastes composed one of the topics of interest in this review. The preliminary alkaline treatment of poultry excreta before processing in AD was considered from the standpoint of effectively reducing the concentrations of mycotoxins in the waste. Full article
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7 pages, 1700 KiB  
Communication
Stiff Knee Gait Disorders as Neuromechanical Consequences of Spastic Hemiplegia in Chronic Stroke
by Sheng Li
Toxins 2023, 15(3), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins15030204 - 07 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5859
Abstract
Stiff knee gait (SKG) is defined as decreased knee flexion during the swing phase. It is one of the most common gait disorders following stroke. Knee extensor spasticity is commonly accepted as the primary cause. Clinical management has focused on the reduction in [...] Read more.
Stiff knee gait (SKG) is defined as decreased knee flexion during the swing phase. It is one of the most common gait disorders following stroke. Knee extensor spasticity is commonly accepted as the primary cause. Clinical management has focused on the reduction in knee extensor spasticity. Recent advances in understanding of post-stroke hemiplegic gait suggest that SKG can present as mechanical consequences between muscle spasticity, weakness, and their interactions with ground reactions during walking. Various underlying mechanisms are presented through sample cases in this article. They include ankle plantar flexor spasticity, knee extensor spasticity, knee flexor and extensor coactivation, and hip flexor spasticity. Careful and thorough clinical assessment is advised to determine the primary cause for each patient. Understanding of these various presentations of SKG is helpful to guide clinical assessment and select appropriate target muscles for interventions. Full article
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