Assessing Aflatoxin M1 levels among lactating mothers’ in Damaturu Yobe state, Nigeria
Aflatoxin M1 (AFM1) is a biomarker of aflatoxin B1 exposure in breast milk, a possible risk factor for infant early exposure to Aflatoxin. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) is a carcinogenic metabolite from Aspergillus fungus ingested from diet. One hundred (100) lactating mothers were sampled in General Sani Abacha Specialist Hospital Damaturu with infant’s in-patient wards. Samples of breast milk and urine were collected aseptically and transported to the laboratory for analysis. Structured questionnaire was used to identify the possible food consumed within 72hrs to suggest possible source of aflatoxin exposure. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of breast milk samples were carried out by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The occurrence of AFM1 showed 82% of the breast milk samples were positive to Aflatoxin M1. The occurrence of 93% of AFM1 excreted in their urine shows exposure to the toxin for a short time period. AFM1 excreted in urine of lactating mothers within 72hrs of acclaimed food consumption, showed 97.1% of mothers that took milk were exposed, meat: 100% , corn meal: 93.4% , also, date: 93%, ‘Brabisko/ Biski’: 30.6%, imported rice :77.7%, native rice: 93.4% occurrence taken( p< 0.05). Concentration of AFM1 among lactating mothers’ breast milk in relation to socio-demographic factors expressed the highest concentration among unemployed and age bracket 18-25 and 34-41 with 0.07µg/L which could be that the employed mothers were more careful with quality of food they consumed while the unemployed mothers may concentrate on the quantity of food they took. In the case of excretion in urine, 0.05µg/L AFM1 was detected among unemployed study participants with lower concentration among the age of 42 and above having 0.04 µg/L. The concentrations of AFM1 in all the breast milk samples were higher than the acceptable tolerance level of 0.05 µg/L as recommended by the Codex Alimentarius. This is a serious indication that lactating mothers ingest aflatoxin contaminated food which may be public health concern.
Keywords: Aflatoxin, Limit, Contamination, Biski, Chromatography