Biological Toxins from Marine and Freshwater Microalgae

  • Antonino Santi Delia
  • Gabriella Caruso
  • Lucia Melcarne
  • Giorgia Caruso
  • Salvatore Parisi
  • Pasqualina Laganà
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)


In the last decades the increased occurrence of intoxications caused by biological toxins produced from marine and freshwater microalgae has underlined their relevance as emerging risks for food safety. Biological toxins from algae (i.e. saxitoxin, brevetoxin, okadaic acid, domoic acid) are recognised as a major threat for human and animal health, especially where Harmful Algal Blooms phenomena develop. Many of these toxins are responsible for severe illness or death, mostly related to consumption of seafood contaminated by toxic algae. The present book summarises current knowledge and perspectives for future research on marine and freshwater algal toxins. Specific topics are: overview of the different species producing toxins, their survival strategies in the environment; typologies of toxins, their chemical structure and mechanisms of actions; methods currently in use for their monitoring; emerging issues and future outlooks for their control. The importance of biotoxin monitoring in the framework of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive is also discussed.


Brevetoxin Ciguatoxin Cylindrospermopsin Domoic acid Harmful algal bloom Microcystin Okadaic acid Poisoning Saxitoxin Yessotoxin 



Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning


Association of Official Analytical Chemists




Azaspiracid Shellfish Poisoning








Development of Cost-Effective Tools for Risk Management and Traceability Systems for Marine Biotoxins in Seafood


Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning


Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxin


Dinoflagellate Categorisation by Artificial Neural Network




Domoic Acid


Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay


European Food Safety Authority


European Union


Global Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms


Good Environmental Status


Harmful Algal Bloom


High-Performance Liquid Chromatography


Median Lethal Dose (50 % of the population)


Limit of Quantification


Liquid Chromatography


Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry


Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry


Marine Strategy Framework Directive


Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation Time-of-Flight






Molecular Weight


Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning




Okadaic Acid




Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning






Polymerase Chain Reaction


Practical Salinity Unit








United States of America




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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonino Santi Delia
    • 1
  • Gabriella Caruso
    • 2
  • Lucia Melcarne
    • 1
  • Giorgia Caruso
    • 3
  • Salvatore Parisi
    • 4
  • Pasqualina Laganà
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Sciences and Morphological and Functional ImagesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Italian National Research Council, Institute for Coastal Marine EnvironmentMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Industrial ConsultantPalermoItaly
  4. 4.Industrial ConsultantPalermoItaly

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