Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 18, pp 17519–17528 | Cite as

Production of mycotoxins by filamentous fungi in untreated surface water

  • Beatriz R. Oliveira
  • Ana T. Mata
  • João P. Ferreira
  • Maria T. Barreto Crespo
  • Vanessa J. Pereira
  • Maria R. BronzeEmail author
Research Article


Several research studies reported that mycotoxins and other metabolites can be produced by fungi in certain matrices such as food. In recent years, attention has been drawn to the wide occurrence and identification of fungi in drinking water sources. Due to the large demand of water for drinking, watering, or food production purposes, it is imperative that further research is conducted to investigate if mycotoxins may be produced in water matrices. This paper describes the results obtained when a validated analytical method was applied to detect and quantify the presence of mycotoxins as a result of fungi inoculation and growth in untreated surface water. Aflatoxins B1 and B2, fumonisin B3, and ochratoxin A were detected at concentrations up to 35 ng/L. These results show that fungi can produce mycotoxins in water matrices in a non-negligible quantity and, as such, attention must be given to the presence of fungi in water.


Filamentous fungi Untreated surface water Mycotoxin production SPE-LC-MS/MS method 



We thank Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL) for supplying the real water matrices where the fungi were spiked. The authors also thank Dr. José María Navas and Dr. Beate Escher for the yeast strain used in the YES assay and Dr. Benjamin Stanford for his help implementing the method. Vanessa J. Pereira thanks the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northeastern University for hosting her as a Visiting Scholar during the fall 2016.

Funding information

This work was financed by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) (through the grants PTDC/AGR-AAM/71866/2006 and PTDC/AAC-AMB/108303/2008 and the fellowship SFRH/BD/111150/2015) and REDE/1518/REM/2005 for the HPLC-MS/MS equipment. iNOVA4Health - UID/Multi/04462/2013, a program financially supported by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia/Ministério da Educação e Ciência, through national funds and co-funded by FEDER under the PT2020 Partnership Agreement is also gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_1952_MOESM1_ESM.docx (154 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 154 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz R. Oliveira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ana T. Mata
    • 3
  • João P. Ferreira
    • 3
  • Maria T. Barreto Crespo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vanessa J. Pereira
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maria R. Bronze
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.IBET - Instituto de Biologia Experimental e TecnológicaOeirasPortugal
  2. 2.Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António XavierUniversidade Nova de LisboaOeirasPortugal
  3. 3.iMED, Faculdade de Farmácia Universidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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