Mycotoxin exposure assessments through biomonitoring studies, based on the analysis of amniotic fluid, provides useful information about potential exposure of mothers and fetuses to ubiquitous toxic metabolites that are routinely found in food and the environment. In this study, amniotic fluid samples (n = 86) were collected via abdominal amniocentesis at 15–22 weeks of gestation from pregnant women with a high risk of chromosomal anomalies or genetic fetal defects detected during 1st trimester prenatal screening. These samples were analyzed for the presence of the most typical Aspergillus
mycotoxins, with a focus on aflatoxins, ochratoxins and trichothecenes, using the LC-FLD/DAD method. The results showed that the toxin was present in over 75% of all the tested samples and in 73% of amniotic fluid samples from fetuses with genetic defects. The most frequently identified toxins were nivalenol (33.7%) ranging from <LOQ to 4037.6 ng/mL, and aflatoxins (31.4%), including aflatoxin G1, ranging from <LOQ to 0.4 ng/mL. Ochratoxin A and deoxynivalenol were identified in 26.7% and 27.9% of samples, respectively. Bearing in mind the above, the detection of mycotoxin levels in amniotic fluid is useful for the estimation of overall risk characterization with an attempt to link the occurrence of fetal abnormalities with exposure to mycotoxins in utero.
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