, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 786-790
Date: 05 Sep 2012

A new simple screening method for the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins

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The current testing for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in shellfish is based on the mouse bioassay (MBA). To alleviate animal welfare concerns, we evaluated the utility of using sublethal indicators of toxicity as an alternative to measuring time to death. Live mice were injected with a PSP congener and the changes in neurotransmitter levels were measured 60, 90, and 120 min after injection. Acetylcholine (ACh) was the most sensitive marker for PSP toxicity. The changes in neurotransmitter levels were most pronounced in the blood. Thus, measurement of Ach levels in the blood may serve as a sensitive predictor for PSP that would not require sacrifice of the mice. This method was relatively simple, sensitive (less than 1 μg/kg weight, equivalent to 20 ng/mL), low maintenance, and rapid (less than 60 min).

Supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of China (863 Program) (No. 2007AA092001-15), the Key Laboratory of Marine Integrated Monitoring and Applied Technologies of Harmful Algal Blooms, Chinese State Oceanic Administration (No. MATHAB20120101), and the Shanghai Municipal Oceanic Bureau (Nos. 2011-02, 2012-02)