Is nodding syndrome in northern Uganda linked to consumption of mycotoxin contaminated food grains?
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CitationEchodu, Richard. Edema, Hilary. Malinga, Geoffrey Maxwell. Hendy, Adam. Colebunders, Robert. Kaducu, Joyce Moriku. Ovuga, Emilio. Haesaert, Geert. (2018). Is nodding syndrome in northern Uganda linked to consumption of mycotoxin contaminated food grains?. BMC RESEARCH NOTES (ONLINE), 11, 678. 10.1186/s13104-018-3774-y.
Nodding syndrome (NS) is a type of epilepsy characterized by repeated head-nodding seizures that appear in previously healthy children between 3 and 18 years of age. In 2012, during a WHO International Meeting on NS in Kampala, Uganda, it was recommended that fungal contamination of foods should be investigated as a possible cause of the disease. We therefore aimed to assess whether consumption of fungal mycotoxins contributes to NS development.
We detected similar high levels of total aflatoxin and ochratoxin in mostly millet, sorghum, maize and groundnuts in both households with and without children with NS. Furthermore, there was no significant association between concentrations of total aflatoxin, ochratoxin and doxynivalenol and the presence of children with NS in households. In conclusion, our results show no supporting evidence for the association of NS with consumption of mycotoxins in contaminated foods.