This paper describes the ability of six dairy strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium to remove aflatoxin M-1 (AFM(1)) from phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) and reconstituted milk. Bacteria were incubated in both PBS and reconstituted milk containing 5, 10 and 20 ng mL(-1) for 0, 4 and 24 h at 37 degrees C. After centrifugation the concentration of AFM(1) was determined in the supernatant fraction using high-performance liquid chromatography. The binding abilities of AFM(1) by viable (10(8) CFU mL(-1)) and heat-killed Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains in PBS ranged from 10.22 to 26.65% and 14.04 to 28.97%, respectively. Similarly, AFM(1)-binding capacity in reconstituted milk was found to range from 7.85 to 25.94% and from 12.85 to 27.31% for viable and heat-killed bacteria, respectively within 4 h. While B. bifidum Bb 13 was the best binder, the poorest removal was achieved by L. acidophilus NCC 68. Binding was reversible, and a small proportion of AFM(1) was released back into the solution. The toxin concentration and incubation period had no effect on the removal of AFM(1) by bacteria both in PBS and reconstituted milk.