Presence of Fusarium Species and Fumonisin Contamination of Maize in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review

  • Peter Koskei School of Public Health, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Christine Bii Kenya Medical Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Protus Musotsi School of Public Health, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya
  • Simon Karanja School of Public Health, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Fusarium; fumonisins; maize; Sub-Saharan Africa


Fumonisin is the second most commonly isolated mycotoxin in maize, produced mainly by Fusarium verticillioides. Fumonisins are associated with health effects in humans and animals. We reviewed the available literature on fumonisin contamination of maize in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and the Fusarium species linked to the contamination. We searched for articles in Science Direct, PUBMED, and Google Scholar databases in June 2018 and updated in August 2018. We employed narrative synthesis in data synthesis. Out of the 2,156 records obtained from the search, 39 met the inclusion criteria. Of the included studies, 37 were cross-sectional studies, while two were controlled trials. Fourteen of the included studies were based on South Africa. The Fusarium species predominantly responsible for fumonisin production was Fusarium verticillioides. Other notable Fusarium species included F. proliferatum and F. graminaerum. In 13 studies, all samples tested positive for fumonisins. The levels of Fumonisin varied from one country to another and region to another in the same country. With maize fumonisin contamination reported in several SSA countries, there is a higher risk of human exposure and hence, health effects on individuals.


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How to Cite
Koskei, P., Bii, C., Musotsi, P., & Karanja, S. (2020, March 20). Presence of Fusarium Species and Fumonisin Contamination of Maize in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Systematic Review. African Journal of Education,Science and Technology, 5(4), Pp 132-146. Retrieved from