Modified hydra bioassay to evaluate the toxicity of multiple mycotoxins and predict the detoxification efficacy of a clay‐based sorbent Academic Article uri icon


  • Food shortages and a lack of food supply regulation in developing countries often leads to chronic exposure of vulnerable populations to hazardous mixtures of mycotoxins, including aflatoxin B(1) (AFB(1)) and fumonisin B(1) (FB(1)). A refined calcium montmorillonite clay [i.e. uniform particle size NovaSil (UPSN)] has been reported to tightly bind these toxins, thereby decreasing bioavailability in humans and animals. Hence, our objectives in the present study were to examine the ability of UPSN to bind mixtures of AFB(1) and FB(1) at gastrointestinally relevant pH in vitro, and to utilize a rapid in vivo bioassay to evaluate AFB(1) and FB(1) toxicity and UPSN efficacy. Isothermal sorption data indicated tight AFB(1) binding to UPSN surfaces at both pH 2.0 and 6.5, but substantially more FB(1) bound at pH 2.0 than 6.5. Site-specific competition occurred between the toxins when exposed to UPSN in combination. Importantly, treatment with UPSN resulted in significant protection to mycotoxin-exposed hydra maintained at pH 6.9-7.0. Hydra were exposed to FB(1), AFB(1) and FB(1) /AFB(1) combinations with and without UPSN. A toxic response over 92 h was rated based on morphology and mortality. Hydra assay results indicated a minimum effective concentration (MEC) of 20 µg ml(-1) for AFB(1), whereas the MEC for FB(1) was not reached. The MEC for co-exposure was 400 µg ml(-1) FB(1) + 10 µg ml(-1) AFB(1). This study demonstrates that UPSN sorbs both mycotoxins tightly at physiologically relevant pH levels, resulting in decreased bioavailability, and that a modified hydra bioassay can be used as an initial screen in vivo to predict efficacy of toxin-binding agents.

author list (cited authors)

  • Brown, K. A., Mays, T., Romoser, A., Marroquin‐Cardona, A., Mitchell, N. J., Elmore, S. E., & Phillips, T. D.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Brown, KA||Mays, T||Romoser, A||Marroquin-Cardona, A||Mitchell, NJ||Elmore, SE||Phillips, TD

publication date

  • October 2012