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BioToMyc: Biosynthesis & Toxicity of Mycotoxins

An integrated approach to mycotoxin contamination

Food safety is a major issue in France and in Europe. In this respect much attention needs to be paid to the possible contamination of food and feed by fungi and the risk of mycotoxin production. Global surveys estimated that 25% of the world crop production is contaminated with such toxins. Fungi are able produce several mycotoxins simultaneously; moreover food and feed can be contaminated by several fungi species at the same time.

The team mainly focused on three aspects of mycotoxins problem: the mechanisms of toxins production by fungi, the impact of mycotoxins on human and animal health and the development of strategies for controlling contamination and/or effects of these toxins.
The understanding of mycotoxinogenesis needs on one side to isolate and determine the role of enzymes involved in patoxins biosynthesis and on the other side to purify and characterize the precursors of toxins and other secondary metabolites produced by studied fungal species.
By using animals and cellular assays the immunomycotoxicology team aims at investigating the impacts on farm animals, of natural exposure to mycotoxins (chronic, low doses, and multi-exposures). We are mainly working on the pig. Indeed, because of the high percentage of cereals in pig diets, swine is one of the most exposed species to mycotoxins. In addition, pig can be regarded as a relevant animal model for extrapolating to humans.