Evolving to the optoelectronic mouse for phycotoxin analysis in shellfish

K. Campbell, S.E. McNamee, A.-C. Huet, P. Delahaut, N. Vilarino, L.M. Botana, M. Poli, C.T. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Despite ethical and technical concerns, the in vivo method, or more commonly referred to mouse bioassay (MBA), is employed globally as a reference method for phycotoxin analysis in shellfish. This is particularly the case for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) and emerging toxin monitoring. A high-performance liquid chromatography method (HPLC-FLD) has been developed for PSP toxin analysis, but due to difficulties and limitations in the method, this procedure has not been fully implemented as a replacement. Detection of the diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxins has moved towards LC-mass spectrometry (MS) analysis, whereas the analysis of the amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxin domoic acid is performed by HPLC. Although alternative methods of detection to the MBA have been described, each procedure is specific for a particular toxin and its analogues, with each group of toxins requiring separate analysis utilising different extraction procedures and analytical equipment. In addition, consideration towards the detection of unregulated and emerging toxins on the replacement of the MBA must be given. The ideal scenario for the monitoring of phycotoxins in shellfish and seafood would be to evolve to multiple toxin detection on a single bioanalytical sensing platform, i.e. ‘an artificial mouse’. Immunologically based techniques and in particular surface plasmon resonance technology have been shown as a highly promising bioanalytical tool offering rapid, real-time detection requiring minimal quantities of toxin standards. A Biacore Q and a prototype multiplex SPR biosensor have been evaluated for their ability to be fit for purpose for the simultaneous detection of key regulated phycotoxin groups and the emerging toxin palytoxin. Deemed more applicable due to the separate flow channels, the prototype performance for domoic acid, okadaic acid, saxitoxin, and palytoxin calibration curves in shellfish achieved detection limits (IC20) of 4,000, 36, 144 and 46 μg/kg of mussel, respectively. A one-step extraction procedure demonstrated recoveries greater than 80 % for all toxins. For validation of the method at the 95 % confidence limit, the decision limits (CCα) determined from an extracted matrix curve were calculated to be 450, 36 and 24 μg/kg, and the detection capability (CCβ) as a screening method is ≤10 mg/kg, ≤160 μg/kg and ≤400 μg/kg for domoic acid, okadaic acid and saxitoxin, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6867-6881
Number of pages15
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Early online date23 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished online - 23 Sept 2014


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