Ochratoxin A - Not a fan of the urinary tract

  • one of several structurally-related toxic compounds designated with a letter of the alphabet that are produced by moulds belonging to the common and largely-soil based genera Aspergillus and Penicillium (including its namesake Aspergillus ochraceus, itself named for its ocher-coloured colonies)
  • has been demonstrated to be carcinogenic (causes cancer), teratogenic (causes birth defects), immunotoxic (buggers up and suppresses the immune system), nephrotoxic (kidney-damaging) and hepatotoxic (liver-damaging) in several animal species
  • is thought to be the cause of urinary tract (kidneys->ureters->bladder->urethra) cancers and nephropathies (kidney diseases featuring chronic dysfunction and progressing to kidney failure and/or cancer) such as Balkan Endemic Nephropathy (BEN) and Chronic Interstitial Nephropathy (CIN)
    • BEN has been noted only in certain rural areas of the Balkan countries (southeastern Europe) for some strange reason
  • may contaminate (due to mould growth) cereal grains, pork, coffee and cocoa beans, dried fruit, and red wine (grapes)

- O'Brien E, Dietrich DR. Ochratoxin A: the continuing enigma. Crit Rev Toxicol. 2005 Jan;35(1):33-60.

6 chemically inspired comments:

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