The LEAP-Agri research project MycoSafe-South has three PhD scholarships available for African students to study and conduct research on mycotoxins in Belgium and Kenya.

“European-African partnership for safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa” intends to harness the expertise and infrastructure available in Europe by strengthening the capacity of the Southern partners to tackle the mycotoxin problem and the associated food safety issues. The project will identify safe and efficient mitigation strategies to reduce aflatoxins (AFs) and fumonisins (FBs) exposure in Africa, with special focus on children.

The consortium creates opportunities for young PhD researchers to conduct this research at both European and African institutes. Three current projects begin 1 September at the latest. They are, in summary:

  • “Safety and efficacy of mycotoxin detoxifiers in human (children): in vitro, in vivo piglet model, and human intervention study” will investigate the efficacy of mycotoxin detoxifiers in in vitro models consisting of single-concentration studies and a more complex model simulating the human (paediatric) gastro-intestinal conditions via SHIME technology. Next, the efficacy of these products will also be evaluated in vivo, first, in a piglet model that serves as a human paediatric surrogate model. Based on the results of the in vitro and in vivo animal experiments, the best-treatment strategy will be selected for a randomized placebo-controlled human intervention study in Kenya.
  • “Decreasing aflatoxin M1 contamination in milk of different African dairy species” will investigate the interaction between the ruminal microbiome and its capacity to degrade aflatoxins in different African dairy species.  Subsequently, safety and efficacy of adding a mycotoxin detoxifying agent to these diets will be investigated.
  • “Decreasing aflatoxins contamination in poultry food products” will investigate the impact of co-exposure of chickens to aflatoxins and fumonisins on the carry-over of AFs to chicken products (i.e. eggs, liver, meat). Subsequently, safety and efficacy of adding a mycotoxin detoxifying agent to these diets will be investigated.

For more information about the research projects, scholarship requirements or contact information, go to the Mycosafe South posting.