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Aflatoxins belong to the class of mycotoxins. Chemically they are defined as difuranocyclopentanocumarines or difuranopentanolidocumarines, i.e. aflatoxins contain a dihydrofuran or a tetrahydrofuran ring, to which a substituted cumarin system is condensed. Out of about 20 known aflatoxins, the mouldsAspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus produce exclusively aflatoxin B1, B2, G1and G2, and all the other aflatoxins are derivates of these four. The derivates are developed either by metabolism in humans, animals and microorganisms or by environmental reactions.
Aflatoxins belong to the strongest mycotoxins, which act primarily in a hepatotoxic and carcinogenic way. The four main aflatoxins show a different toxicity. B1 is without doubt the most toxic aflatoxin, followed by G1, B2 and G2. Aflatoxin B1, however, does not show a direct toxic action. In the process of biotransformation in the liver, the lipophilic toxin is epoxidated and transformed into an active derivative, the so-called aflatoxin B1-2,3-epoxid. This highly reactive epoxid is able to react with nucleophilic regions of macromolecules. Amongst other this metabolite of aflatoxin B1 binds covalently to the N-7 atom of the guanine bases of DNA. This covalent bond causes an inhibition of the DNA replication, the RNA synthesis and mutations.
Both chronical and acute intoxications are effected by aflatoxins. There are only few documented reports about acute intoxications, which are caused by uptake of mycotoxins. Of special importance for human beings are the chronical intoxications by aflatoxins. To the diseases, which develop after such chronical intoxications, belong primary liver carcinoma, hepatitis, Reye´s syndrome and Kwashiorkor. Besides the generation of primary liver carcinoma, aflatoxins are presumably also responsible for other sorts of tumors, like intestinal cancer.
Contaminations with aflatoxins occur mostly with nuts and grain. In most cases aflatoxins penetrate the human body via the food. Aflatoxins are stable to heat and are only partly destroyed by boiling. In order to protect people against aflatoxin-induced diseases, there is a need for the quantitative and qualitative control of endangered foodstuff, besides appropriate hygienic precautions, which avoid the formation of aflatoxins. The Aflatoxin B1 ELISA is a quick, economical and sensitive method to detect aflatoxin B1 in food. After an appropriate sample preparation, 40 samples can be tested in duplicate within 140 minutes.
Enzyme Immunoassay for the quantitative determination of Aflatoxin B1 in food
|Kit size||: 96 wells|
|Sample material||: food|
|Sample preparation||: extraction, dilution|
|Sample volume||: 100 µl|
|Standard range||: 10 – 10.000 pg/ml|
|Incubation||: 1 h, 1 h (RT/shaker), 20 min (RT/dark)|
|Measuring system||: TMB 450 nm|
|Sensitivity||: 5 pg/ml|