Silva, M., Verónica, R., Barreiro, A., Kaufmann, M., Neto, A.I., Hassouani, M., Sabour, B., Botana, A., Botana, L.M. & Vasconcelos, V. (2018) Paralytic shellfish toxins occurrence in non-traditional invertebrate vectors from North Atlantic waters (Azores, Madeira, and Morocco).Toxins, 10, 362. DOI:10.3390/toxins10090362 (IF2018 3,895; Q1 Toxicology)
Paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are potent alkaloids of microalgal and cyanobacterial origin, with worldwide distribution. Over the last 20 years, the number of poisoning incidents has declined as a result of the implementation of legislation and monitoring programs based on bivalves. In the summer of 2012 and 2013, we collected a total of 98 samples from 23 different species belonging to benthic and subtidal organisms, such as echinoderms, crustaceans, bivalves, and gastropods. The sampling locations were Madeira, São Miguel Island (Azores archipelago), and the northwestern coast of Morocco. The samples were analyzed using post-column oxidation liquid chromatography with a fluorescence detection method. Our main goal was to detect new vectors for these biotoxins. After reporting a total of 59 positive results for PSTs with 14 new vectors identified, we verified that some of the amounts exceeded the limit value established in the EU. These results suggest that routine monitoring of saxitoxin and its analogs should be extended to more potential vectors other than bivalves, including other edible organisms, for a better protection of public health.