Aflatoxins biosynthesis, toxicity and intervention strategies: A review

Munawar Iqbal, Mazhar Abbas, Muhammad Adil, Arif Nazir and Iftikhar Ahmad

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Aflatoxins (AFTs) are toxic products of fungal metabolism, associated with serious health consequences and substantial economic losses to agriculture, livestock and poultry sectors in the developing countries. This review outlines the current information on AFTs in terms of historical background, classification, relative occurrence and co-existence with other mycotoxins in various food commodities. The phenomenon of aflatoxin (AFT) biosynthesis has been elucidated with reference to molecular basis, genetic regulation and factors affecting the AFT production. Moreover, the in vivo disposition kinetics, toxicological action and toxico-pathological consequences of AFTs have also been highlighted. Currently employed strategies for the detection and detoxification of AFTs, biomarkers of exposure assessment, potential economic impact and regulatory considerations regarding the AFTs have been emphasized.