Mycotoxin Detection in Human Samples from Patients Exposed to Environmental Molds

*Dennis G. Hooper 1,Vincent E. Bolton 1, Frederick T. Guilford 2 and David C. Straus 3

1 RealTime Laboratories, LLC, 13016 Bee Street #203, Dallas, TX 79234, USA
2 5050 El Camino Real, #110, Los Altos, CA 94022, USA
3 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed – Dennis G. Hooper @ mscmd@cox.net

Received: 4 February 2009; in revised form: 13 March 2009 / Accepted: 27 March 2009 / Published: 1 April 2009

This article belongs to the special issue Mycotoxins: Mechanisms of Toxicological Activity – Treatment and Prevention

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Abstract: The goal of this study was to determine if selected mycotoxins (trichothecenes, aflatoxins, and ochratoxins) could be extracted and identified in human tissue and body fluids from patients exposed to toxin producing molds in their environment. Human urine and methanol extracted tissues and sputum were examined. Trichothecenes were tested using competitive ELISA techniques. Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, and G2, and ochratoxin A were tested by using immunoaffinity columns and fluorometry. Test sensitivity and specificity were determined. Levels of detection for the various mycotoxins varied from 0.2 ppb for trichothecenes, 1.0 ppb for aflatoxins, and 2.0 ppb for ochratoxins. Trichothecene levels varied in urine, sputum, and tissue biopsies (lung, liver, brain) from undetectable (<0.2 ppb) to levels up to 18 ppb. Aflatoxin levels from the same types of tissues varied from 1.0 to 5.0 ppb. Ochratoxins isolated in the same type of tissues varied from 2.0 ppb to > 10.0 ppb. Negative control patients had no detectable mycotoxins in their tissues or fluids. These data show that mycotoxins can be detected in body fluids and human tissue from patients exposed to mycotoxin producing molds in the environment, and demonstrate which human tissues or fluids are the most likely to yield positive results.
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