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Title: Sphinganine/Sphingosine ratio in plasma and urine as a possible biomarker for fumonisin exposure in humans in rural areas of Africa
Authors: Van der Westhuizen, L 
Brown, NL 
Marasas, Walter F.O 
Swanevelder, Sonja 
Shephard, Gordon Seymour 
Keywords: sphinganine;sphingosine;fumonisin;maize;Fusarium;Transkei;Kenya;South Africa
Issue Date: 1999
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: van der Westhuizen L, Brown NL, Marasas WFO, Swanevelder S, Shephard GS. 1999. Sphinganine/Sphingosine ratio in plasma and urine as a possible biomarker for fumonisin exposure in humans in rural areas of Africa. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 37(12):1153-1158
Journal: Food and Chemical Toxicology, 37(12):1153-1158 
Abstract: This study was conducted in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa and in the Bomet district, western Kenya. The sphinganine (Sa)/sphingosine (So) ratios in the plasma and urine of male and female volunteers consuming a staple diet of homegrown maize in Transkei, were 0.3420.36 (mean2standard deviation) (n = 154) and 0.4120.72 (n = 153), respectively and in plasma samples from KwaZulu-Natal it was 0.4420.23 (n = 26). In Kenya, the ratios in plasma and urine were 0.2820.07 (n = 29) and 0.3420.20 (n = 27), respectively. Mean total fumonisin level in home-grown maize, randomly collected in Transkei from the same region where the human volunteers lived, was 580 ng/g (n = 40), as compared to the KwaZulu-Natal province, where no fumonisin (n = 17) were detected (<10 ng/g) in the home-grown maize. In Kenya, only one of seven samples was contaminated with 60 ng/g fumonisins. No signi®cant di erences were found in the Sa/So ratios between males and females within the regions nor between the di erent regions (P > 0.05). It is possible that the ratio is not sensitive enough to act as a biomarker for fumonisin exposure in humans at these levels of contamination in maize. This is the ®rst report on Sa/So ratios determined in rural populations in Africa consuming home-grown maize as their staple diet.
Description: Article
Appears in Collections:HWSci - Journal Articles (DHET subsidised)

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