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Hum Exp Toxicol. 1995 Jul;14(7):609-14.

Ochratoxin A in human blood in relation to nephropathy in Tunisia.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie et de Toxicologie Moléculaire, Faculté de Médecine Dentaire, Monastir, Tunisia.


The determination of ochratoxin A (OTA) in human blood in Tunisian populations is underway. The range of contamination is between 0.7 to 7.8 ng ml-1 for the general population and 12 to 55 ng ml-1 for people suffering from chronic renal failure. It appears that 21 to 64% of people suffering from nephropathy are OTA positive with a detection limit of 1ng ml-1. This situation prompted us to search for possible association of OTA contamination and nephropathy resembling Balkan endemic nephropathy. The classification of the ill population into chronic interstitial nephropathy (CIN), chronic glomerular nephropathy (CGN), chronic vascular nephropathy (CVN) and others, indicated that the largest is the CIN group which is significantly different from the other groups, and from the control (P < 0.005). Furthermore, it presented the highest OTA mean values (25 to 59 ng ml-1) compared with the control, CGN, CVN and other groups (6 to 18 ng ml-1) according to the designated region in Tunisia. The rural population seems to be more exposed to ochratoxins in Tunisia, as has been previously reported in the Balkans and Western Europe. Altogether, these results emphasise that in Tunisia an endemic ochratoxin-related nephropathy is probably occurring.

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