Aflatoxin B1 degradation by liquid cultures and lysates of three bacterial strains

Oluwafemi Ayodeji Adebo, Patrick Berka Njobeh, Sibusiso Sidu, Matsobane Godfrey Tlou, Vuyo Mavumengwana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Aflatoxin contamination remains a daunting issue to address in food safety. In spite of the efforts geared towards prevention and elimination of this toxin, it still persists in agricultural commodities. This has necessitated the search for other measures such as microbial degradation to combat this hazard. In this study, we investigated the biodegradation of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), using lysates of three bacterial strains (Pseudomonas anguilliseptica VGF1, Pseudomonas fluorescens and Staphylococcus sp. VGF2) isolated from a gold mine aquifer. The bacterial cells were intermittently lysed in the presence and absence of protease inhibitors to obtain protease free lysates, subsequently incubated with AFB1 for 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 h to investigate whether any possible AFB1 degradation occurred using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for detection. Results obtained revealed that after 6 h of incubation, protease inhibited lysates of Staphylococcus sp. VGF2 demonstrated the highest degradation capacity of 100%, whereas P. anguilliseptica VGF1 and P. fluorescens lysates degraded AFB1 by 66.5 and 63%, respectively. After further incubation to 12 h, no residual AFB1 was detected for all the lysates. Lower degrading ability was however observed for liquid cultures and uninhibited lysates. Data on cytotoxicity studies against human lymphocytes showed that the degraded products were less toxic than the parent AFB1. From this study, it can thus be deduced that the mechanism of degradation by these bacterial lysates is enzymatic. This study shows the efficacy of crude bacterial lysates for detoxifying AFB1 indicating potential for application in the food and feed industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-19
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2016


  • Aflatoxin B
  • Bacterial lysate
  • Biodegradation
  • Cytotoxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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