Aflatoxin exposure is an important public health concern in sub-Saharan Africa as well as parts of Latin America and Asia. In addition to hepatocellular carcinoma, chronic aflatoxin exposure is believed to play a role in childhood growth impairment. The most reliable biomarker of chronic aflatoxin exposure is the aflatoxin-albumin adduct, as measured by ELISA or isotope dilution mass spectrometry (IDMS). In this report, we have used high resolution LC-MS/MS with IDMS to quantitate AFB1-lysine in an extremely vulnerable population of Nigerian children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. To increase the sensitivity and reliability of the analyses, a labelled AFB1-13C6 15N2-lysine internal standard was synthesized. AFB1-lysine concentrations in this population ranged between 0.2 and 59.2 pg/mg albumin, with a median value of 2.6 pg/mg albumin. AFB1-lysine concentrations were significantly higher in stunted children (median = 4.6 pg/mg) compared to non-stunted (1.2 pg/mg), as well as in children with severe acute malnutrition (4.3 pg/mg) compared to controls (0.8 pg/mg). The median concentrations were also higher in children with kwashiorkor (6.3 pg/mg) compared to those suffering from marasmus (0.9 pg/mg). This is the first report of the use of high-resolution mass spectrometry to quantitate AFB1-lysine in humans.

Aflatoxin, Aflatoxin-lysine adduct, High resolution LC-MS/MS, Isotope dilution mass spectrometry, Kwashiorkor, Severe acute malnutrition
Food and Chemical Toxicology
Department of Chemistry

McMillan, A. (Amy), Renaud, J.B. (Justin B.), Burgess, K.M.N. (Kevin M.N.), Orimadegun, A.E. (Adebola E.), Akinyinka, O.O. (Olusegun O.), Allen, S.J. (Stephen J.), … Sumarah, M.W. (Mark W.). (2018). Aflatoxin exposure in Nigerian children with severe acute malnutrition. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 111, 356–362. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2017.11.030