Mycotoxins, toxic fungal secondary metabolites, known to be the most hazardous of all food contaminants in terms of chronic toxicity, have the potential to contribute to a diversity of adverse health effects in humans, and are unfortunately ubiquitously present in our daily diet. Chronic low-dose intake of multiple mycotoxins are hypothesized to be associated with an increased risk of developing human renal, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinomas. HUMYCO refers to a unique, holistic & multi(cross)-disciplinary research field, aiming at comprehensively investigating the human mycobolome through uniting large-scale epidemiological & mechanistic designs using a poly-omic approach. Focus is set to generate newly hypotheses-driven insights into the role of multiple mycotoxin exposure in the aetiology of human carcinomas. The capability of conducting accurate exposure assessments of mycotoxins at the individual-level is required to fully understand the potential health consequences in humans, therefore, mycotoxin biomarkers of exposure will be primarily identified in vitro, and validated using human intervention studies by elucidating human mycotoxicokinetic profiles via metabolomics.
The nature and extent of associations between estimated external and internal dietary multiple mycotoxin exposures and developing renal, colorectal and hepatocellular carcinomas will be investigated through large-scale epidemiological bio-cohorts, established in both Europe and Africa. To further disentangle possible associative mycotoxin-induced cancer development, causal relations will be verified through an innovative mechanistic arm applying advanced cutting-edged technologies. For the first time, genome-wide mutation spectra associated with multi-exposure to putatively carcinogenic mycotoxins will be experimentally determined. HUMYCO contributes to dietary-based human health prevention by identification of specific cancer risks related to multiple mycotoxins exposure.
Contact & links
- Lab address: Campus Heymans, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ottergemsesteenweg 460, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
- Centre of Excellence in Mycotoxicology and Public Health
- MYTOX-SOUTH (UGent): an intercontinental partnership striving to solve mycotoxin problems
- Truong Nguyen is interested to receive invitations for presentations or talks