Alternaria species are common allergens in humans, growing indoors and causing hay fever or hypersensitivity reactions that sometimes leads to asthma. In addition. they readily cause opportunistic infections in immunocompromised people such as AIDS patients.
They also have a profound effect on agricultural production, with at least 20% of agricultural spoilage being caused by Alternaria species and the most severe losses reaching up to 80% of yield. The most obvious signs of Alternaria contamination are with the mould on fruit and vegetables, but it can also been found in cereals such as wheat, rye, sorghum, rice, and even tobacco.
The most studied mycotoxin in the group of toxins produced by the species Alternaria is tenuazonic acid. It is a powerful eukaryotic protein synthesis inhibitor and results in antitumor, antiviral and antibacterial activity.
This Technical Application from Knauer uses isocratic HPLC with both fluorescence and U detection to analyse the 4 main metabolites of Alternaria alternata, including tenuazonic acid.
CLICK HERE to download a copy of this technical note (pdf 550K).