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(English) A group of extremely heat-stable mycotoxins, produced by strains of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus, which exhibit fluorescence on UV radiation. Aflatoxins are toxic to a wide range of eukaryotes. Severe outbreaks of cancer disease have occurred in domestic animals and poultry fed with aflatoxin-contaminated feedstuffs, particularly groundnut and cereal feeds. Aflatoxins can affect the immune system, reducing resistance to infection and possibly increasing the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma due to hepatitis b virus infection. Aflatoxins inhibit mitosis in tissue culture systems and appear to act at many different sites in both nucleus and cytoplasm, inhibiting DNA, RNA and protein synthesis.

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