Consuming damaged corn could be a cause in the spread of HIV virus among the population living in the sub-Saharan region of Africa, a new study suggests.
A high percentage of the corn crop is damaged by pests such as the cornstalk borer which in turn facilitate the formation of fungus derived toxins called fumonisins. Fumonisins are known to be harmful for humans and are one of the major causes for the high number of patients suffering from cancer of the esophagus.
Researchers from University of Georgia analyzed data from World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization and found that as the consumption of diseased corn grew, HIV transmission rates increased leading to suggestion that corn plays as a facilitator for the spread of the HIV virus.
Lead researcher Dr. Jonathan Williams said that while his study has found a plausible link between corn consumption and spread of HIV, more research was needed to prove the findings.