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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Maximizing Laboratory Production of Aflatoxins and Fumonisins for Use in Experimental Animal Feeds

Ochieng, Phillis E. E.; Kemboi, David C. C.; Scippo, Marie-Louise; Gathumbi, James K. K.; Kangethe, Erastus; Doupovec, Barbara; Croubels, Siska; Lindahl, Johanna F. F.; Antonissen, Gunther; Okoth, Sheila


Warm and humid climatic conditions coupled with poor agricultural practices in sub-Saharan Africa favor the contamination of food and feed by Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium verticillioides fungi, which subsequently may produce aflatoxins (AFs) and fumonisins (FBs), respectively. The growth of fungi and the production of mycotoxins are influenced by physical (temperature, pH, water activity, light and aeration), nutritional, and biological factors. This study aimed at optimizing the conditions for the laboratory production of large quantities of AFs and FBs for use in the animal experiments. A. flavus and F. verticillioides strains, previously isolated from maize in Kenya, were used. Levels of AFB1 and total FBs (FB1, FB2, and FB3) in different growth substrates were screened using ELISA methods. Maize kernels inoculated with three different strains of A. flavus simultaneously and incubated at 29 degrees C for 21 days had the highest AFB1 level of 12,550 +/- 3397 mu g/kg of substrate. The highest level of total FBs (386,533 +/- 153,302 mu g/kg of substrate) was detected in cracked maize inoculated with three different strains of F. verticillioides and incubated for 21 days at temperatures of 22-25 degrees C in a growth chamber fitted with yellow light. These two methods are recommended for the mass production of AFB1 and FBs for animal feeding trials.


Aspergillus flavus; Fusarium verticillioides; aflatoxins production; fumonisin production; mycotoxins; food safety; feed safety

Published in

2022, volume: 10, number: 12, article number: 2385

Authors' information

Ochieng, Phillis E. E.
University of Liege
Ochieng, Phillis E. E.
Ghent University
Kemboi, David C. C.
Ghent University
Scippo, Marie-Louise
University of Liege
Gathumbi, James K. K.
University of Nairobi
Kangethe , Erastus K.
No organisation
Doupovec, Barbara
Croubels, Siska
Ghent University
International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)
Uppsala University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences
Antonissen, Gunther
Ghent University
Okoth, Sheila
University of Nairobi

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