Lipophilic toxin profile in Galicia (Spain): 2005 toxic episode

Toxicon : Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology
A Villar-GonzálezL M Botana


By the end of 2005, a toxic episode of phytoplankton origin in bivalve shellfish led to the closing down of several shellfish production areas in Galicia (northwestern region of Spain). During this time, different kinds of shellfish were collected and analysed by LC-MS/MS to search for the following lipophilic toxins: okadaic acid (OA), dinophysistoxins (DTXs), pectenotoxins (PTXs), azaspiracids (AZAs) and spirolides. Samples were analysed before alkaline hydrolysis in order to investigate the presence of free OA and DTXs, AZAs, PTXs and spirolides, and after alkaline hydrolysis to detect OA and DTXs esters. All of the samples were found to be contaminated with OA and/or DTX-2, as well as esterified forms of these diarrhetic shellfish poison (DSP) toxins, at levels around and above European regulatory limit (160 microg of okadaic acid equivalents/kg). The analyses of mussels and razor clam also revealed the presence of 13-desmethyl spirolide C (SPX-1) at levels below 31 microg/kg. Likewise, in many of the samples different levels of pectenotoxin-2 secoacid (PTX-2sa) were detected. DSP toxin esters represent practically the 100% of the total OA equivalents for scallops, clams, razor clams and cockles.


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