Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 391, Issue 1, pp 117–134

Determination of marine biotoxins relevant for regulations: from the mouse bioassay to coupled LC-MS methods



The frequency of occurrence and intensity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) appear to be increasing on a global scale. Consequently, methods were established for the evaluation of possible hazards caused by the enrichment of algal toxins in the marine food chain. Different clinical types of algae-related poisoning have attracted scientific attention: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), and amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP). In several countries fish specialties are consumed which may be contaminated with algal toxins typical for the respective region (e.g., ciguatera and tetrodotoxins). Bioassays are common methods for the determination of marine biotoxins. However, biological tests are not completely satisfactory, due to the low sensitivity and the absence of specialized variations. Moreover, there is growing resistance against the use of animal experiments. Therefore, many efforts have been made to determine algal toxins with chemical methods. In this context LC-MS methods replaced HPLC methods with optical detectors, allowing both effective seafood control and monitoring of phytoplankton in terms of the different groups of marine biotoxins.


Marine biotoxins LC-MS/MS PSP toxins DSP toxins Domoic acid Tetrodotoxins Ciguatera 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for NutritionFriedrich-Schiller-University of JenaJenaGermany

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