Simultaneous determination of mycotoxins in biological fluids by LC-MS/MS

Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2010 Jan 1;2:151-8. doi: 10.2741/e77.


We report a single, reliable, non-invasive analytical method for monitoring the fetal level of exposure to different mycotoxins. We assessed by tandem mass spectrometry levels up to 200 nanog/l for ochratoxin A and 500 nanog/l for aflatoxins in sample of serum (n= 71), urine (n= 18) and amniotic fluid (n= 21) of pregnant women. Aflatoxin G1 was present in one sample of serum (3.48 microg/l) and in four samples of urine (ranging from 14.0 to 18.8 microg/l), ochratoxin A was present in one sample of amniotic fluid (4.26 microg/l), whereas aflatoxin B1 (ranging from 0.4-2 microg/l) and B2 (ranging from 0.3-3 microg/l) were contextually present in two samples of urine. The very few contaminated samples did not allow statistical comparison between subjects grouped according to the frequency of consumption of commonly contaminated foods. Data confirm that mycotoxins can occur in fetal-maternal biological fluids. However, the incidence and the level of exposure to the investigated mycotoxins do not appear to pose risk for the mother and the fetus.

MeSH terms

  • Aflatoxins / blood
  • Aflatoxins / isolation & purification*
  • Aflatoxins / urine
  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Maternal Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ochratoxins / blood
  • Ochratoxins / isolation & purification*
  • Ochratoxins / urine
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry / methods*


  • Aflatoxins
  • Ochratoxins
  • ochratoxin A