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Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2010 Feb;27(2):241-8. doi: 10.1080/19440040903289712.

Production of citreoviridin by Penicillium citreonigrum strains associated with rice consumption and beriberi cases in the Maranhão State, Brazil.

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Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Instituto de Veterinária, Departamento de Microbiologia e Imunologia Veterinária, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


The aim of this study was to determine the levels of Penicillium citreonigrum and citreoviridin present in rice samples from Maranhão State, Brazil, where an outbreak of beriberi was reported and 32 deaths occurred (7% of the notified cases died in 2006). The ability of P. citreonigrum to produce citreoviridin was assessed, and a total of 420 samples of 21 different kinds of rice were collected. Mycobiota isolation and identification, the ability of citreoviridin strains to produce toxin, and the natural occurrence of citreoviridin were established. Rice samples were found to have high fungal counts and showed increasing levels from 2004 to 2007 harvest years. The most frequent genus was Aspergillus followed by Penicillium and Cladosporium. Ten out of eleven strains of P. citreonigrum were able to produce citreoviridin. Three rice samples had levels of citreoviridin ranging from 12 to 96.7 ng g(-1), and two bran samples had levels of 128 and 254 ng g(-1). These samples contaminated with P. citreonigrum and citreoviridin were involved in the beriberi cases from Maranhão State. Monitoring rice for mycotoxins in areas where this substrate is the basic food is crucial to prevent outbreaks like the one reported in this study, to improve management practice, and to diminish exposure risk of humans to these harmful toxins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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