Can it be all more simple? Manufacturing aflatoxin biocontrol products using dry spores of atoxigenic isolates of Aspergillus flavus as active ingredients
Microb Biotechnol. 2021 Mar 23. doi: 10.1111/1751-7915.13802. Online ahead of print.
Aflatoxin contamination of staple crops, commonly occurring in warm areas, negatively impacts human and animal health, and hampers trade and economic development. The fungus Aspergillus flavus is the major aflatoxin producer. However, not all A. flavus genotypes produce aflatoxins. Effective aflatoxin control is achieved using biocontrol products containing spores of atoxigenic A. flavus. In Africa, various biocontrol products under the tradename Aflasafe are available. Private and public sector licensees manufacture Aflasafe using spores freshly produced in laboratories adjacent to their factories. BAMTAARE, the licensee in Senegal, had difficulties to obtain laboratory equipment during its first year of production. To overcome this, a process was developed in Ibadan, Nigeria, for producing high-quality dry spores. Viability and stability of the dry spores were tested and conformed to set standards. In 2019, BAMTAARE manufactured Aflasafe SN01 using dry spores produced in Ibadan and sent via courier and 19 000 ha of groundnut and maize in Senegal and The Gambia were treated. Biocontrol manufactured with dry spores was as effective as biocontrol manufactured with freshly produced spores. Treated crops contained safe and significantly (P < 0.05) less aflatoxin than untreated crops. The dry spore innovation will make biocontrol manufacturing cost-efficient in several African countries.