Aflatoxin exposure during the first 36 months of life was not associated with impaired growth in Nepalese children: An extension of the MAL-ED study

Nicole J. Mitchell, Hui Husan Hsu, Ram Krishna Chandyo, Binob Shrestha, Ladaporn Bodhidatta, Yu Kang Tu, Yun Yun Gong, Patricia Egner, Manjeswori Ulak, John Davis Groopman, Felicia Wu

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Abstract

Exposure to aflatoxin, a mycotoxin common in many foods, has been associated with child growth impairment in sub-Saharan Africa. To improve our understanding of growth impairment in relation to aflatoxin and other risk factors, we assessed biospecimens collected in Nepalese children at 15, 24, and 36 months of age for aflatoxin exposure. Children (N = 85) enrolled in the Bhaktapur, Nepal MAL-ED study encompassed the cohort analysed in this study. Exposure was assessed through a plasma biomarker of aflatoxin exposure: the AFB1-lysine adduct. The aflatoxin exposures in the study participants were compared to anthropometrics at each time period (length-for-age [LAZ], weight-for-age [WAZ], and weight-for-length [WLZ] z-scores), growth trajectories over time, age, and breastfeeding status. Results demonstrated chronic aflatoxin exposure in this cohort of children, with a geometric mean of 3.62 pg AFB1-lysine/mg albumin. However, the chronic aflatoxin exposure in this cohort was not significantly associated with anthropometric z-scores, growth trajectories, age, or feeding status, based on the available time points to assess aflatoxin exposure. Low mean levels of aflatoxin exposure and infrequent occurrence of stunting, wasting, or underweight z-score values in this cohort are possible contributing factors to a lack of evidence for an association. Further research is needed to examine whether a threshold dose of aflatoxin exists that could induce child growth impairment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0172124
JournalPLoS One
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Mitchell, N. J., Hsu, H. H., Chandyo, R. K., Shrestha, B., Bodhidatta, L., Tu, Y. K., Gong, Y. Y., Egner, P., Ulak, M., Groopman, J. D., & Wu, F. (2017). Aflatoxin exposure during the first 36 months of life was not associated with impaired growth in Nepalese children: An extension of the MAL-ED study. PLoS One, 12(2), [e0172124]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172124