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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 12  |  Issue: 8  |  Page No.: 637 - 642

The Effect of Mycotoxins found in some Herbal Plants on Biochemical Parameters in Blood of Female Albino Mice

Suaad S. Alwakeel    

Abstract: In this study, twenty five samples of well-known herbs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were collected and analyzed for Total Fungi Count (TFC). Mycotoxins were extracted and screened using SMKY liquid medium. One hundred and thirty adult female albino mice were grouped into three wherein one group (n =110) was fed with an aqueous extract from herbal plants. The second group (n =15) was fed with an aqueous extract of the isolated fungal species. The third group comprised the control group which was given water only (n =5). All mice were fed with mice breeding diet by Pillsbury, UK. After 5 weeks, mice were fasted and blood was withdrawn for biochemical analysis including alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), gamma glutamyltransferase (GGT), serum creatinine and urea. Calligonum comosum with 2x105 cfu g-1 fungus spore, grained mixed herbs (24x103 cfu g-1) and Salvia officinalis (23x103 cfu g-1) were the most contaminated samples. The genus Aspergillus was the most dominant genus recovered (142 isolates) followed by Penicillium (14 isolates) and these two genera were found in 85.0 and 11.0% of the samples analyzed. Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus ochraceus were the most dominant and frequently isolated (47.3, 46.5 and 18.1%, respectively), followed by Aspergillus citrinum (11.0%). Aspergillus ochraceus had 21.7 μg kg-1 of Aflatoxin B2 and 7.25 μg kg-1 of ochratoxin A, whereas Aspergillus flavus had 7.45 μg kg-1 of Aflatoxin B1 and Aspergillus fumigatus had 3.5 μg kg-1 of Aflatoxin B2 and 3.8 μg kg-1 of ochratoxin A. Mean creatinine, urea, ALT, AST and GGT were higher in mice fed or treated with herbal and fungal extracts group than the control group. This study confirms previous studies demonstrating the predominance of Aspergillus species in herbal and medicinal plants and its capability in the production of aflatoxin with induction of nephrotoxicity and hepatoxicity in animals and even in humans.

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