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Trop Doct. 2010 Apr;40(2):95-7. doi: 10.1258/td.2009.090439.

Outbreak of beriberi in the state of Maranhão, Brazil: revisiting the mycotoxin aetiologic hypothesis.

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  • 1Brazilian Field Epidemiology Training Program, Secretariat of Health Surveillance, Ministry of Health, Brasilia.


Beriberi is caused by thiamine deficiency. Early 20th century epidemics in Japan were attributed to rice contaminated by citreoviridin mycotoxin. Our investigation of an outbreak of beriberi in Brazil showed an association of beriberi with the consumption of poor quality subsistence farming rice, although, unlike other investigators of this outbreak, we did not identify citreoviridin producing fungi in the implicated rice.

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