Screening of aflatoxin-producing fungi in maize and groundnuts from three regions in Tanzania
Keywords:Aflatoxins, Maize, Groundnuts, Aspergillus spp, A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, A. terreus
This study screened aflatoxin-producing fungi in maize and groundnuts from Dodoma, Singida and Iringa regions in Tanzania, and assessed the level of peoples’ awareness on aflatoxins health effects. One hundred and twenty samples (20 each crop) were collected and inoculated on Sabouraud dextrose agar and one hundred and eleven samples were observed to have fungal growths that were identified to belong to four genera, namely Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Mucor and Dermatophyte with occurrence frequencies of 75, 2.5, 5 and 10%, respectively. Among the four screened genera of fungi, Aspergillus was observed to be the major aflatoxin-producing fungi. Five species of genus Aspergillus, namely A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, and A. terreus were isolated with frequencies of 39.1, 10, 7.5, 15.8 and 2.5%, respectively. Macromorphology and micromorphology of isolated Aspergillus spp were also observed using a light microscope. Furthermore, it was noted that the prevalence of fungi and aflatoxins contamination is more in groundnuts than in maize. In terms of awareness in individuals concerning aflatoxins, only 34% respondents in Dodoma, 29.9% in Singida and 24% in Iringa were aware of aflatoxins. Therefore, the creation of awareness and sensitization on aflatoxins health effects to the people is an important part of intervention ways to forestall and control aflatoxins in Tanzania.
Keywords: Aflatoxins, Maize, Groundnuts, Aspergillus spp, A. flavus, A. parasiticus, A. niger, A. fumigatus and A. terreus.