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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2017, Article ID 1892972, 6 pages
Research Article

Risk of Fungi Associated with Aflatoxin and Fumonisin in Medicinal Herbal Products in the Kenyan Market

1Kenya Medical Research Institute, P.O. Box 54840-00200, Nairobi, Kenya
2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Eldoret, P.O. Box 1125-30100, Eldoret, Kenya
3Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 190-50100, Kakamega, Kenya
4Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 19676-00202, Nairobi, Kenya

Correspondence should be addressed to Lucia Keter; gro.irmek@retekl

Received 22 March 2017; Revised 20 June 2017; Accepted 6 July 2017; Published 8 August 2017

Academic Editor: Leo Van Griensven

Copyright © 2017 Lucia Keter et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Utilization of herbal products is a major concern due to the possibility of contamination by toxigenic fungi that are mycotoxin producers such as Aspergillus species during processing and packaging. Research was carried out to determine the presence of aflatoxins and fumonisins in herbal medicinal products sold in Eldoret and Mombasa towns in Kenya. The study employed both exploratory and laboratory experimental design. The herbal products were purchased from the market and transported to Kenya Medical Research Institute for processing and analysis. Fungal contaminants were determined according to Pharmacopoeia specifications. The toxins were quantified using ELISA based technique. The genus Aspergillus was the most dominant followed by Penicillium. Fungal counts ranged between 1 CFU/g and >1000 cfu/g. Analysis of variance showed that the rate of fungal contaminants for Eldoret and Mombasa samples had significant association (). Aflatoxin levels ranged from 1 to 24 ppb, while fumonisin levels ranged from 1 to >20 ppb. Only 31% of samples met the standards for microbial limits as specified in Pharmacopoeia. There is need for product microbial quality improvement through proper harvesting, processing, storage, and marketing. It is recommended that a policy be enacted to enable regulation of herbal products in Kenya.