Mycotoxins are chemical compounds produced by pathogenic molds that are toxic and cause
diseases such as cancer and immune suppression. Alternariol (AOH), is well reported a type of mycotoxin,
which is produced by Alternaria species. It is widely distributed in cereal based foods and fruits.
Environmental conditions related to storage of food and cereals are main factors that are responsible for
the presence of mycotoxins. Besides temperate zones, mycotoxins are frequently found in hot and humid
areas that are more favourable for the growth of mold species. Generally, mycotoxins are directly
ingested in the body but sometimes spore inhalation or skin contact can also be a route. Mycotoxicoses
are disorders which are caused by the exposure to mycotoxins. It is difficult to control intrinsic and extrinsic
factors such as strain variation, fungal strain specificity, instability of toxigenic properties. As
mycotoxins have ability to induce DNA damage, modulate antioxidant capacity and mitigate macrophage
phenotype and inflammatory responses, therefore, they pose acute effects on humans. Although
efforts have been carried out internationally to control mycotoxins, practical measures are yet to be executed.
Taken together, this communication highlights and showcases the toxicological impacts of Alternariol
secreted by Alternaria alternata on the human health.
Keywords: Alternaria alternate, alternariol (AOH), DNA damage, macrophage, mycotoxin, phenotype, ROS.
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