Over the last decade massive blooms of the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata, once confined to tropical and subtropical areas, have occurred in more temperate regions worldwide including the Mediterranean Sea. Concurrently, negative impacts on human health mainly due to inhalation of toxic aerosols and/or skin contact were observed together with death of benthic marine invertebrates. When first toxic outbreaks related to O. cf. ovata occurred in 2005 along the Ligurian coasts (Italy), little was known on several aspects of the phenomenon. Although some Ostreopsis spp. were known to produce congeners of palytoxin (PLTX), O. cf. ovata was not known as a toxic species and its metabolic profile had never been investigated. Secondly, although PLTX itself was reported as one of the most potent non-protein marine toxins so far known and tentatively suggested as the causative agent of some fatal food poisonings in the tropics, it had never been suspected to exert toxicity through inhalation. Last but not least, the role of the environmental conditions on O. cf. ovata proliferation and toxin production had been poorly studied. Therefore, the need for increase knowledge on potential risks for humans and ecosystem stimulated research in the field. An Italian multidisciplinary network was created, including scientists from the Academia as well as operators of the regional environmental protection agencies and food safety laboratories. This joint effort led to clarify many of the aspects related to the Ostreopsis phenomenon that still represent one of the major threats to humans in the Mediterranean area. This presentation is meant to summarize the results of our studies on O. cf. ovata, highlighting inter- and intra-specific variability of the toxin profiles, structural variability of the detected toxins and, in some cases, linking such differences to the risk that PLTX congeners pose to humans following inhalatory, dermal and oral exposure. Phylogenetic relationships among many isolates of Mediterranean O. cf. ovata were investigated as well as innovative molecular qPCR based assays was developed for monitoring activities. The methodological approach, besides addressing many of the palytoxin-related issues, may serve as template for facing in due time any emerging toxin-related threat to humans.

LC-HRMS studies on Ostreopsis-related toxins in algae, seafood and aerosols. What’s left?

Carmela Dell'Aversano;Luciana Tartaglione;Martino Forino;
2018

Abstract

Over the last decade massive blooms of the benthic dinoflagellate Ostreopsis cf. ovata, once confined to tropical and subtropical areas, have occurred in more temperate regions worldwide including the Mediterranean Sea. Concurrently, negative impacts on human health mainly due to inhalation of toxic aerosols and/or skin contact were observed together with death of benthic marine invertebrates. When first toxic outbreaks related to O. cf. ovata occurred in 2005 along the Ligurian coasts (Italy), little was known on several aspects of the phenomenon. Although some Ostreopsis spp. were known to produce congeners of palytoxin (PLTX), O. cf. ovata was not known as a toxic species and its metabolic profile had never been investigated. Secondly, although PLTX itself was reported as one of the most potent non-protein marine toxins so far known and tentatively suggested as the causative agent of some fatal food poisonings in the tropics, it had never been suspected to exert toxicity through inhalation. Last but not least, the role of the environmental conditions on O. cf. ovata proliferation and toxin production had been poorly studied. Therefore, the need for increase knowledge on potential risks for humans and ecosystem stimulated research in the field. An Italian multidisciplinary network was created, including scientists from the Academia as well as operators of the regional environmental protection agencies and food safety laboratories. This joint effort led to clarify many of the aspects related to the Ostreopsis phenomenon that still represent one of the major threats to humans in the Mediterranean area. This presentation is meant to summarize the results of our studies on O. cf. ovata, highlighting inter- and intra-specific variability of the toxin profiles, structural variability of the detected toxins and, in some cases, linking such differences to the risk that PLTX congeners pose to humans following inhalatory, dermal and oral exposure. Phylogenetic relationships among many isolates of Mediterranean O. cf. ovata were investigated as well as innovative molecular qPCR based assays was developed for monitoring activities. The methodological approach, besides addressing many of the palytoxin-related issues, may serve as template for facing in due time any emerging toxin-related threat to humans.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/737422
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