Co-occurrence of ochratoxin A and citrinin in cereals from Bulgarian villages with a history of Balkan endemic nephropathy

J Agric Food Chem. 2000 Jun;48(6):2483-8. doi: 10.1021/jf990891y.


Cereal samples were collected in 1998 from Bulgarian villages without [control village (C), n = 20] or with [endemic villages (E); E1, n = 21; E2, n = 30; E3, n = 23] a history of Balkan endemic nephropathy (BEN). Sampling included foods (wheat, corn) and feeds (barley, oats, wheat bran). Analysis of ochratoxin A and citrinin was done by enzyme immunoassays (EIA), with detection limits of 0.5 and 5 ng/g, respectively. Ochratoxin A-positive results were confirmed by HPLC after immunoaffinity chromatography. Highest toxin levels were found in wheat, wheat bran, and oats. For ochratoxin A, the percentages of positives were 35% (C), 29% (E1), 30% (E2), and 47% (E3), the mean/median values of positives were 1.5/1.3 ng/g (C), 11/1.6 ng/g (E1), 18/1.6 ng/g (E2), and 3.5/1.5 ng/g (E3). For citrinin, 5.0% (C), 14% (E1), 3.3% (E2), and 13% (E3) were positive, and the mean/median values were 6.1/6.1 ng/g (C), 180/83 ng/g (E1), 10/10 ng/g (E2), and 84/20 ng/g (E3). Highest concentrations of ochratoxin (maximum = 140 ng/g) and citrinin (maximum = 420 ng/g) were found in samples from endemic villages. Co-contamination with ochratoxin A and citrinin was found for one sample (14% of positives) from village C and for six samples (22% of positives) from villages E1-E3. Citrinin levels in these samples were 2-200 times higher than those of ochratoxin A.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed
  • Balkan Nephropathy / epidemiology*
  • Bulgaria / epidemiology
  • Citrinin / analysis*
  • Edible Grain / chemistry*
  • Food Contamination*
  • Humans
  • Mycotoxins / analysis*
  • Ochratoxins / analysis*
  • Rural Population
  • Triticum / chemistry
  • Zea mays / chemistry


  • Mycotoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A
  • Citrinin