A pilot, cross-sectional, correlational study was conducted in eight rural communities in northern Nigeria to investigate mycotoxin exposures in 120 volunteers (19 children, 20 adolescents and 81 adults) using a modern LC-MS/MS based multi-biomarker approach. First morning urine samples were analyzed and urinary biomarker levels correlated with mycotoxin levels in foods consumed the day before urine collection. A total of eight analytes were detected in 61/120 (50.8%) of studied urine samples, with ochratoxin A, aflatoxin M1and fumonisin B1being the most frequently occurring biomarkers of exposure. These mycotoxin biomarkers were present in samples from all age categories, suggestive of chronic (lifetime) exposures. Rough estimates of mycotoxin intake suggested some exposures were higher than the tolerable daily intake. Overall, rural consumer populations from Nasarawa were more exposed to several mixtures of mycotoxins in their diets relative to those from Kaduna as shown by food and urine biomarker data. This study has shown that mycotoxin co-exposure may be a major public health challenge in rural Nigeria; this calls for urgent intervention. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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