Association between birth outcomes and aflatoxin B1 biomarker blood levels in pregnant women in Kumasi, Ghana

Faisal M.B. Shuaib, Pauline E. Jolly, John E. Ehiri, Nelly Yatich, Yi Jiang, Ellen Funkhouser, Sharina D. Person, Craig Wilson, William O. Ellis, Jia Sheng Wang, Jonathan H. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Objective To investigate the association between birth outcomes and blood levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-lysine adduct in pregnant women in Kumasi, Ghana. Method A cross-sectional study of 785 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic was conducted. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-lysine adduct levels were determined by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) on blood taken after delivery. The birth outcomes considered were small for gestation age, low birthweight, preterm delivery and stillbirth. Participants were divided into quartiles based on the distribution of aflatoxin B 1-lysine adducts in pg/mg albumin ('low': ≤2.67, 'moderate': >2.67 to ≤4.97, 'high': >4.97 to ≤11.34, 'very high': >11.34). Statistical analysis involved models that included socio-demographic variables and other potential confounders. Results The average AFB1-lysine adduct level in maternal serum was 10.9 ± 19.00 pg/mg albumin (range = 0.44-268.73 pg/mg). After adjusting for socio-demographic variables and potential confounding factors, participants in the highest AFB 1-lysine quartile with 'very high' AFB1-lysine level (>11.34 pg/mg) were more likely to have low birthweight babies (OR, 2.09; 95% CI, 1.19-3.68), and showed a trend of increasing risk for low birthweight (Ptrend = 0.007) compared to participants in the lowest quartile. Conclusion This study adds to the growing body of evidence that aflatoxins may increase the risk of adverse birth outcomes. The findings have implications for targeted nutritional education of pregnant women in areas with high levels of aflatoxin contamination of foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aflatoxins
  • Birth outcomes
  • Kumasi
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Association between birth outcomes and aflatoxin B1 biomarker blood levels in pregnant women in Kumasi, Ghana'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this