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Bioassay and chemical methods for analysis of paralytic shellfish poison

  • Pedro A. Burdaspal

Summary

Paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) is the common name assigned to a group of potent neurotoxins that may be produced by some algal species. Their accumulation in filter feeding shellfish may cause these marine products to become toxic for human consumption. As a consequence, a number of countries have regulations trying to limit the exposure of the population to these toxins. Control, monitoring and research tasks on this subject demand suitable analytical methods.

Nowadays, there exists a range of different techniques and methods that can be used efficiently for the analysis of PSP. The analyst can choose from the traditional mouse bioassay, which has been widely used in many laboratories for more than fifty years, to chemical methods such as the fluorimetric assays or those based on high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which at the moment possess probably the greatest potential as alternative methods. Other recent and very promising methods should be in vitro cell-culture assays based on the sodium channel-blocking activity of PSP toxins. All these methods and others which are also described in this chapter, such as the fly bioassay or the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), offer a broad scope of possibilities in order to solve what can be considered one of the most complex analytical problems in the field of natural toxicants. Unfortunately, all of these methods have some disadvantages that handicap their generalised acceptance and application. Thus, the need for reliable and validated analytical methods, the lack of pure PSP standards and the availability of certified reference materials still constitute an open area for further development.

Keywords

High Performance Liquid Chromatography High Performance Liquid Chromatography High Performance Liquid Chromatography Method Official Analytical Chemist Paralytic sheIIfish Poisoning 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Chapman & Hall 1996

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  • Pedro A. Burdaspal

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