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S Afr Med J. 1988 Aug 6;74(3):110-4.

Fusarium moniliforme contamination of maize in oesophageal cancer areas in Transkei.

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Research Institute for Nutritional Diseases, Parowvallei, CP.


The prevalence of human oesophageal cytological abnormalities was determined by means of brush biopsy capsules in the adult occupants of each of 12 households in a low, an intermediate and a high oesophageal cancer rate area in Transkei during 1985 and 1986. Mild cellular changes (folic acid deficiency, atypia and mild dysplasia) as well as advanced changes (dysplasia and cancer) occurred more frequently in the occupants of households in high than in intermediate and low oesophageal cancer rate areas. The prevalence of fungi in homegrown maize from the households in each area was determined by plating surface-sterilized kernels on agar. The prevalence of Fusarium moniliforme was significantly higher (P less than 0.01) in maize from cytologically 'affected' households in the high oesophageal cancer rate area than from 'unaffected' households in the low oesophageal cancer rate area during both seasons. These results confirm previous reports on the difference in the prevalence of F. moniliforme in maize from low and high oesophageal cancer rate areas in Transkei. Whereas the previously established correlation was between F. moniliforme and oesophageal cancer rate, the present results provide evidence for an association between this fungus and oesophageal cytological abnormalities in living individuals. These people will be included in further clinical, epidemiological and aetiological studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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