Maternal Exposures to Mycotoxins and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes (MEMAPO)

While adverse pregnancy outcomes can have many causes, maternal food intake clearly plays an essential role in the development of the baby. One problem is foods with insufficient nutrient content, yet another is foods containing hazardous chemicals, including mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins are toxic compounds naturally produced by certain types of molds (fungi) that often contaminate various foodstuffs, including cereals, dried fruits, nuts, and spices. Examples of major mycotoxins are aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, citrinin, and deoxynivalenol. Mycotoxins are chemically stable and survive common food processing and cooking practices, making them a ubiquitous exposure in many populations, with serious health consequences such as liver cancer. 

The MEMAPO study is an add-on project to the Food and Agricultural Approaches to Reducing Malnutrition (FAARM) cluster-randomized trial, including 2700 women and their children under three years in 96 settlements in Habiganj District, Sylhet Division, Bangladesh. 

The MEMAPO study specifically investigates (i) household knowledge, experience, and practices regarding mold contamination of food crops, (ii) the exposure level of households and pregnant women to mycotoxins, and (iii) the potential role of maternal exposure to multiple mycotoxins for the development of specific adverse pregnancy outcomes – pregnancy loss, babies born too soon or born too small.

Project team:

External collaborators:


  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through FAARM
  • GNPC Foundation Fellowship (2017 – 2020)


Kyei NNA., Waid JL., Ali N., Cramer B., Humpf H-U., Gabrysch S. (2023): Maternal exposure to multiple mycotoxins and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a prospective cohort study in rural Bangladesh. Archives of Toxicology. URL:

Kyei NNA., Cramer B., Humpf H-U., Degen GH., Ali N., Gabrysch S. (2022): Assessment of multiple mycotoxin exposure and its association with food consumption: a human biomonitoring study in a pregnant cohort in rural Bangladesh. Archives of Toxicology. URL:

Kyei NNA., Waid JL., Ali N., Gabrysch S.(2021): Awareness, experience, and knowledge of farming households in rural Bangladesh regarding mold contamination of food crops: a cross-sectional study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health18(19), 10335; URL:

Kyei NNA., Boakye D., and Gabrysch S. (2020): Maternal mycotoxin exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes: a systematic review. Mycotoxin Research, 36(2): p. 243-255. URL: