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close this section of the library Aflatoxins


View the PDF document Dietary aflatoxins and the incidence of liver cancer in indigenous Fijians
Author: Dolodolotawake, Usaia Visaru.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.Sc.
Subject: Mycotoxins -- Fiji -- Physiological effect , Liver -- Cancer -- Fiji, Aflatoxins
Date: 1999.
Call No.: pac QP 941 .A3 D65 1999
BRN: 923423
Copyright:Under 10% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission

Abstract: Liver cancer has been found to be one of fhe major killers amongst males in some African and South East Asian countries. Liver cancer is also responsible for the highest number of deaths in indigenous Fijian males over the years. It has been found that aflatoxin, a mycotoxfn produced by some strains of fungi, is one of the most potent liver cancer-causing agents known. These fungi thrive on a wide range of food products with cereals, maize, peanut and peanut products, and high carbohydrate crops all belonging to the high-risk foodstuffs. Epidemiological studies have shown high correlation between aflatoxins ingestion and the incidence of liver cancer. The analysis of high-risk foodstuffs for aflatoxin would be an indicator on the prevalence of aflatoxin contamination of foods. Determining the presence of aflatoxin in sera would indicate whether aflatoxin ingestion has occurred. A number of recommended methods were tested so that one can be chosen to suit this research. The Romer Method with better recovery and more economical in terms of analysis time and consumable was chosen. The Vanuatu samples were mostly aflatoxin free with a single contaminated sample at 29ppb aflatoxin Bi. Of the Fijian foodstuff tested, only 3% were contaminated with roasted peanut being most frequently and highly contaminated. Levels of contamination ranged from 10-1039ppb aflatoxin Bi. Of the animal feeds tested , 14% were contaminated with an aflatoxin Bi range of 17- 1047ppb, Eight percent of the sera samples tested were contaminated, with an aflatoxin Bt content of 1-1.3ng/cm3, vii The survey of high-risk foods as an indicator showed that aflatoxin contamination was not likely to be a serious problem in Fiji. It was suggested that traditional Fijian foods were not at risk, and it was concluded that the liver cancer incidence prevalent amongst indigenous Fijian males might not be primarily due to aflatoxicosis. Food samples from Vanuatu were also analysed and were mostly aflatoxin free but no firm conclusions drawn due the sample size used. The presence of aflatoxins in the sera samples suggests recent ingestion of the toxin. This research suggests a need for regular monitoring of high-risk foods for aflatoxin contamination through the use of cost-effective methods. Further research is needed to establish the links between the high incidence of liver cancer in indigenous Fijian males to other possible liver cancer causative agents such as alcohol consumption and hepatitis viral infection.
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