Thursday, 18 July 2013

Welcome to PHPT Blog

Welcome to the public health pharmacology and toxicology blog. The blog will be dedicated to academic issues on departments mandate areas that include  public health, pharmacology, toxicology, epidemiology, livestock economics, applied immunology, microbial biotechnology, natural products research, leather science and technology.


  1. Kindly post something for us to deliberate on.

  2. Oh yes, tell the Chairman to post something here for us to discuss.

  3. Chairman, PHPT Department

    Mycotoxins and Cancer
    Mycotoxins are fungal metabolites formed in susceptible grains such as maize, wheat, sorghum, millet among others. These are the stable foods for majority of Kenyans. Other food products consumed such as milk and meat may be contaminated with mycotoxins depending on quality of feeds fed to livestock and the preservation methods used for such products. In a nutshell, many food products may be contaminated with mycotoxins depending on preservation and handling techniques used. Appropriate food production practices can limit mycotoxin contamination of these foods. However, these practices cannot be relied on to completely prevent contamination of foods with mycotoxins. Research has shown that many foodstuffs meant for human consumption are contaminated with varying levels of mycotoxins. This means that foods that do not appear grossly infested by fungi may still contain low levels of mycotoxins. Yet consumption of small doses of mycotoxins in food for long periods of time leads to development of cancer. Quality testing of food to detect mycotoxin levels in foods is employed in the processing industry to assure fitness of food for human consumption. However, not many Kenyans access foods especially cereals that have undergone such testing. It can therefore be assumed that many Kenyans consume food with low level of mycotoxins, albeit in low quantities. It is my considered opinion that the upsurge of cancer cases in the in the country could partially be attributed to long term consumption of low doses of mycotoxins by a large population of Kenyans. My question is, what proportion of cancer cases may be attributed to consumption of mycotoxin contaminated foods and what strategies can be implemented to eliminate the risks of mycotoxin contaminated foods in the general population? Post your opinion/comments.

    1. I agree that mycotoxins specifically aflatoxins pose an important public health threat because humans that consume contaminated foods over prolonged periods are likely to get liver cancer. The risk of liver cancer is increased in individuals with hepatitis B or C virus infections. It is therefore important to reduce aflatoxin exposure for liver cancer prevention. First step in reduction of exposure is finding out the contamination rates in foods/feeds. Thumbs up to PHPT department which recently acquiring an NIR machine which should offer a rapid method for detection of mycotoxins.

  4. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.
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  6. The Department recently opened a Centre for Mycotoxin Research to carry out research and provide diagnostic services on mycotoxins. The centre was opened by the Finish Ambassador to Kenya on 4.9.2014. The Government of Finland provided the funds.