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Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a frequent dietary contaminant of cereal crops (predominantly wheat and maize) in temperate regions of the world. A recent survey of 44,670 cereal products from European Union member states revealed a high frequency (57%) of DON contamination (SCOOP, 2003). The toxicity of DON has been clearly established based on animal studies.
In a recent review of human epidemiological data, the possibility of DON induced growth faltering, and immune toxicity with a possible increase in susceptibility to infectious disease were highlighted.
We have recently developed an exposure biomarker for DON based on the enrichment and measurement of DON in urine. We have applied this biomarker to assess DON exposure in a small subset of women from Born in Bradford.