Inderscience Publishers

Phycotoxins in the marine environment: control of marine organisms for contamination with algal toxins

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On a global scale, the frequency and intensity of toxic algal blooms appear to be on the rise. There is also evidence of geographic spreading of toxic strains. Therefore, it is necessary to establish methods 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, seafood specialties are consumed that may be contaminated with algal toxins that are associated with particular regions (NSP, ciguatera, tetrodotoxin). Bioassays with mice or rats are common methods for the determination of algal toxins. However, biological tests are not completely satisfactory, owing to the low sensitivity and the absence of pronounced variations; additionally, there is growing opposition to animal testing. Therefore, many studies are underway to determine algal toxins by chemical methods.

Keywords: algal toxins, column liquid chromatography, environmental regulations, mass spectrometry

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