Aflatoxin research in southeast Nigeria: current status and possible risks in the era of climate change.
Aflatoxins are Aspergillus secondary metabolites found in various crops and agricultural products. The contamination of food by aflatoxins can occur during crop production, processing, storage, transportation or marketing of the food products. High temperature, moisture content and water activity are among the predisposing factors that facilitate mould growth and the production of aflatoxins in food. Aflatoxins are considered the major mycotoxins produced in crops and food. In Nigeria and beyond, aflatoxin contamination is considered to be a major problem with implications that affect human and animal health as well as the economic potentials of crops. The available, updated information on the incidence of aflatoxin contamination, decontamination and its public health importance in south eastern Nigeria is lacking. The aim of this review is to highlight, update and discuss the available information on the incidence of aflatoxins in south eastern states of Nigeria. The public health implications, risk factors and the recommended strategies for control of aflatoxins in food and agricultural crops are also deliberated.