Microbiological Assays

The discovery that mycotoxins have antimicrobial properties has led to the development of mycotoxin screen as says using microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and yeast). Surveys were carried out on numerous microorganisms to demonstrate which were sensitive to mycotoxins. Of those microorganisms tested, Bacillus spp. have been shown to be well suited for the detection of aflatoxin B2 (159,160), patulin (161), penicillic acid (162), ochratoxin (163), and roquefortin (164). One of the most extensive testings of mycotoxins on a bacterial species was carried out by Bouti-bonnes et al. (165) on B. thuringiensis. Virtually all of the mycotoxins tested induced some toxic effect, indicating that the organism may be a good candidate for mycotoxin screening. Mycotoxin screening methods for mycotoxins were developed using B. megaterium (166), B. cereus (163), B. stearothermophilus (164,167), and B. subtilis (161). Yeasts such as Kluyveromyces fragilis and Rhodotorula rubra have been used to assay trichothecene mycotoxins (168,169).

Many of the mycotoxins have been subjected to the Ames mutagenicity assay (170) of which the aflatoxins, fu-sarin C, and someAlternaria toxins are reported to be mutagenic to at least one strain of Salmonella typhimurium (171). Other organisms that have been used to screen mycotoxins for mutagenicity include B. subtilis mutants, Sac-charomyces cerevisiae, DNA polymerase deficient Escherichia coli and Neospora crassa (158). Advantages of mutagenicity assays include their ability to yield semiquantitative data and their sensitivity and simplicity.

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