Gerald N. Wogan

  • Biochemistry of Some Foodborne Microbial Toxins

    Richard I. Mateles and Gerald N. Wogan

    The ten papers assembled in this collection report some of the most recent advances in the chemistry and biochemistry of toxic metabolites produced by bacteria, algae, and fungi. They deal with those organisms and toxins that pose direct problems as food contaminants or are otherwise closely related to food supply. Presented in two separate sections, the papers treat bacterial and algal toxins on the one hand and fungal toxins (mycotoxins) on the other. The collection is keyed to developments not yet covered in the scientific literature on this problem and to new progress in fields currently under active study.

    The first paper reviews the chemistry and biochemistry of staphylococcal enterotoxins, the agents responsible for common food poisoning caused by contamination of foods by staphylococci. The rare but frequently fatal poisoning known as botulism is discussed in a paper that identifies type A botulinum toxin and points out which portion of the protein molecule is responsible for its activity. Bongrek poisoning, caused by the growth of a pseudomonad in fermented coconut products, is described, and a discussion of the chemistry by algae is presented.

    The section on mycotoxins opens with a review of the chemistry and biochemistry of sporidesmins and related compounds, followed by a discussion of the furocoumarins and their relationship to phototoxicity lesions of the skin. A strongly estrogenic metabolite of Fusarium graminearum, a fungus that grows on corn used for animal feed, is discussed in a paper identifying the substance as a fluorescent derivative of resorcinol. Methods for distinguishing aflatoxin from nonaflatoxin compounds in addition to the usual fluorescence and chromatographic tests, are presented, and a description of newly discovered toxin metabolites caused by spoilage fungi is given.

    Biochemistry of Some Foodborne Microbial Toxins will be a valuable addition to the scientific library of workers in toxicology, nutrition, carcinogenesis, and of person involved in environmental health and protection of the food supply. The work will be of equal interest to microbiologists and chemists working in natural products chemistry.

    ContributorsY. Asao, M. S. Bergdoll, D. A. Boroff, C. M. Christensen, B. R. Das Gupta, N. P. Ferreira, U. Fleck, T. Kikuchi, C, J, Mirocha, W. Nel, G. H. Nelsom, A. Nobuhara, I. F. H. Purchase, M. Sasaki, I. F. H. Purchase, M. Sasaki, E. J. Schantz, L. D. Scheel, A. Taylor, A.G. van Veen, Y. Yokotsuka

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