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Int Orthop. 2001;25(3):154-8.

A 4-year study of the mycological aspects of Kashin-Beck disease in Tibet.

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Section of Mycology, Scientific Institute of Public Health, Louis Pasteur, Brussels, Belgium.


In order to clarify the association between mycotoxin-producing fungi in food and Kashin-Beck disease (KBD), we examined the occurrence and contamination levels of fungi in samples of barley grain, from KBD-affected families and from unaffected families in endemic areas. A control area without the occurrence of KBD served as reference. The first results obtained in 1995 showed that total mesophilic fungal contamination of barley grain was consistently higher in families with KBD. Trichothecium roseum (Pers) Link ex gray, Dreschlera Ito and Alternaria Nees ex Fr. were the three most common fungi significantly associated with KBD. In 1996 we again observed a significant difference between affected and non-affected families, especially with Trichothecium roseum and Ulocladium Preuss. On this basis, measures to prevent KBD were suggested and a preventive program has been set up since 1998 in 20 new villages.

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