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Occurrence of deoxynivalenol in an elderly cohort in the UK: a biomonitoring approach

Papageorgiou, Maria; Wells, Liz; Williams, Courtney; White, Kay L.M.; De Santis, Barbara; Liu, Yunru; Debegnach, Francesca; Miano, Brunella; Moretti, Giorgio; Greetham, Stephanie; Brera, Carlo; Atkin, Stephen L.; Hardie, Laura J.; Sathyapalan, Thozhukat


Maria Papageorgiou

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Mrs Liz Wells
Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics

Courtney Williams

Kay L.M. White

Barbara De Santis

Yunru Liu

Francesca Debegnach

Brunella Miano

Giorgio Moretti

Stephanie Greetham

Carlo Brera

Stephen L. Atkin

Laura J. Hardie


Deoxynivalenol (DON) is a Fusarium toxin, to which humans are frequently exposed via diet. Although the elderly are speculated to be sensitive to the toxic effects of DON as a result of age-related conditions, disease and altered DON metabolism, there is lack of available data on DON biomarkers in this age group. This study characterised urinary DON concentrations and its metabolites in elderly aged ≥65years (n = 20) residing in Hull, UK. Morning urinary specimens were collected over two consecutive days together with food records to assess dietary intake over a 24h-period prior to each urinary collection. Free DON (un-metabolised), total DON (sum of free DON and DON-glucuronides or DON-GlcA) and de-epoxy deoxynivalenol (DOM-1) were analysed using a validated LC-MS/MS methodology. Total DON above the limit of quantification 0.25 ng/mL was detected in the urine from 90% of elderly men and women on both days. Mean total DON concentrations on day 1 were not different from those on day 2 (elderly men, day 1: 22.2 ± 26.3 ng/mg creatinine (creat), day 2: 28.0 ± 34.4 ng/mg creat, p = 0.95; elderly women, day 1: 22.4 ± 14.6 ng/mg creat, day 2: 29.1 ± 22.8 ng/mg creat, p = 0.58). Free DON and DON-GlcA were detected in 60–70% and 90% of total urine samples, respectively. DOM-1 was absent from all samples; the LoQ for DOM-1 was 0.50 ng/mL. Estimated dietary intake of DON suggested that 10% of the elderly exceeded the maximum provisional tolerable daily intake for DON. In this single-site, UK-based cohort, elderly were frequently exposed to DON, although mean total DON concentrations were reported at moderate levels. Future larger studies are required to investigate DON exposure in elderly from different regions of the UK, but also from different counties worldwide.


Papageorgiou, M., Wells, L., Williams, C., White, K. L., De Santis, B., Liu, Y., …Sathyapalan, T. (2018). Occurrence of deoxynivalenol in an elderly cohort in the UK: a biomonitoring approach. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A: Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment, 35(10), 2032-2044.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 17, 2018
Publication Date Oct 3, 2018
Deposit Date Aug 17, 2018
Publicly Available Date Oct 27, 2022
Journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A
Print ISSN 1944-0049
Electronic ISSN 1944-0057
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 35
Issue 10
Pages 2032-2044
Keywords Toxicology; Food Science; Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; General Chemistry; Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis; General Medicine
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:


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