The synergism of hepatitis B and aflatoxicosis in hepatocellular carcinoma development: A mini-review

[1]Alao, J. O., 1Oni, M. O., *[2]Bello, O. O., [3]Bejide, I. O., [4]Alao, O. J., and 3Komolafe O. I.

1Departmental of Microbiology, Adeleke University, Ede, Nigeria

2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Nigeria

3Department of Biological Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Nigeria

4Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilisan-Remo, Nigeria

*Correspondence to:; +2348057892661


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the twelfth most common cancer and the fifth leading cause of worldwide cancerrelated death. Chronic hepatitis B infection, caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and exposure to aflatoxins is fundamental in the formation of HCC in developing countries. This review of scientific publications aims to establish the detrimental effects of aflatoxin-contaminated foods and highlights the correlation between aflatoxin and hepatitis B viral-associated hepatocellular carcinoma. Research has shown a significant increase in the occurrence of HCC in HBV-infected individuals exposed to fungal toxins. HBV demonstrates the ability to integrate and bind to p53 protein in the host DNA and propagate hepatocyte vulnerability through carcinogenic aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) damage. Although there has been clear evidence about the synergistic interaction of exposure to AFB1 and HBV infection in the induction of HCC, other literature has shown otherwise, mainly because incomplete and vague findings and hypotheses were made in regions where AFB1 and HBV pose a public health risk. Vaccination against hepatitis B and measures such as robust food safety systems to avoid hepatotoxicity and hepatocellular carcinogenesis induced by AFB1 is the most effective methods in the prevention of HCC induced by HBV and AFB1. 

Keywords: aflatoxin B, hepatitis B, hepatocellular carcinoma, synergy

Received Nov 28, 2022; Revised Dec 31, 2022; Accepted Jan 01, 2023

[1] Département de Microbiologie, Université Adeleke, Ede, Nigeria

[2] Département des Sciences Biologiques, Université des Sciences Médicales, Ondo, Nigeria

[3] Département des sciences biologiques, Université Redeemer, Ede, Nigeria

[4] Département d’Oto-Rhino-Laryngologie, Hôpital Universitaire de Babcock, Ilisan-Remo, Nigéria

*Correspondance à:; +2348057892661

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The synergism of hepatitis B and aflatoxicosis in hepatocellular carcinoma development: A mini-review