Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is one of the most potent neurotoxins, originally found in ovary and liver of pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) [1]. Successively, TTX was isolated from many other marine and terrestrial animals, as xanthid crab, trumpet shellfish, blue-ringed octopus, chaetognatha, gastropods, starfish, and frogs. The wide distribution of TTX in genetically unrelated organisms has made TTX origin for long time controversial, with different kind of bacteria being identified as TTX-producing organisms [2]. Even Alexandrium tamarense – one of the paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PST) producing organisms – was proposed as potential biogenetic source of TTX [3]. Although fatal human poisonings following consumption of TTX-contaminated seafood have been reported so far only in Japan, the accumulation of TTX in fish, oysters and mussels collected in Europe (Spain, Portugal, England, Greece) has been recently reported. So, in the frame of a collaborative study on evaluation of PST-related risk in the Mediterranean area, mussels collected in the Siracuse bay (Sicily, Italy) over a three year period (2015-2017), were analyzed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with both high resolution and tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC-HRMS and HILIC-MS/MS). Both techniques highligted the presence of high PST contamination levels, with samples collected in 2016 containing up to 10851 g STX eq/kg. Unexpectedly, together with PST, tetrodotoxin was detected in Sicilian mussels. Although this was the first report of TTX in Italy, contamination levels found in mussels (0.8-6.4 µg/kg) were well below the regulatory limit of 2 mg TTX eq/kg established for TTX in Japan. Interestingly, much higher contamination levels of TTX (413 g/kg) have been detected in mussels collected in 2017 in the northeastern Adriatic coasts of Italy (Lagoon of Marano), in the frame of the monitoring programme for marine biotoxins regulated in the EU. [1] Wu Z, Xie L, Xia G, Zhang J, Nie Y, Hu J, Wang S, Zhang R. 2005. A new tetrodotoxin-producing actinomycete, Norcardiopsis dassonvillei, isolated from the ovaries of puffer fish Fugu rubripes. Toxicon 45:851-859. [2] Yasumoto T, Yasumura D, Yotsu M, Michishita T, Endo A, Kotak Y. 1986. Bacterial production of tetrodotoxin and anhydrotetrodotoxin. Agric. Biol. Chem. 50:793–795. [3] Kodama M, Sato S, Sakamoto S, Ogata T. 1996. Occurrence of tetrodotoxin in Alexandrium tamarense, a causative dinoflagellate of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Toxicon. 34:1101-1105.

Tetrodotoxin an Emerging Threat to Humans in the Mediterranean Area: First Detection in Italian Mussels

Carmela Dell’Aversano;Luciana Tartaglione
;
Fabio Varriale;
2018

Abstract

Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is one of the most potent neurotoxins, originally found in ovary and liver of pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) [1]. Successively, TTX was isolated from many other marine and terrestrial animals, as xanthid crab, trumpet shellfish, blue-ringed octopus, chaetognatha, gastropods, starfish, and frogs. The wide distribution of TTX in genetically unrelated organisms has made TTX origin for long time controversial, with different kind of bacteria being identified as TTX-producing organisms [2]. Even Alexandrium tamarense – one of the paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins (PST) producing organisms – was proposed as potential biogenetic source of TTX [3]. Although fatal human poisonings following consumption of TTX-contaminated seafood have been reported so far only in Japan, the accumulation of TTX in fish, oysters and mussels collected in Europe (Spain, Portugal, England, Greece) has been recently reported. So, in the frame of a collaborative study on evaluation of PST-related risk in the Mediterranean area, mussels collected in the Siracuse bay (Sicily, Italy) over a three year period (2015-2017), were analyzed by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled with both high resolution and tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC-HRMS and HILIC-MS/MS). Both techniques highligted the presence of high PST contamination levels, with samples collected in 2016 containing up to 10851 g STX eq/kg. Unexpectedly, together with PST, tetrodotoxin was detected in Sicilian mussels. Although this was the first report of TTX in Italy, contamination levels found in mussels (0.8-6.4 µg/kg) were well below the regulatory limit of 2 mg TTX eq/kg established for TTX in Japan. Interestingly, much higher contamination levels of TTX (413 g/kg) have been detected in mussels collected in 2017 in the northeastern Adriatic coasts of Italy (Lagoon of Marano), in the frame of the monitoring programme for marine biotoxins regulated in the EU. [1] Wu Z, Xie L, Xia G, Zhang J, Nie Y, Hu J, Wang S, Zhang R. 2005. A new tetrodotoxin-producing actinomycete, Norcardiopsis dassonvillei, isolated from the ovaries of puffer fish Fugu rubripes. Toxicon 45:851-859. [2] Yasumoto T, Yasumura D, Yotsu M, Michishita T, Endo A, Kotak Y. 1986. Bacterial production of tetrodotoxin and anhydrotetrodotoxin. Agric. Biol. Chem. 50:793–795. [3] Kodama M, Sato S, Sakamoto S, Ogata T. 1996. Occurrence of tetrodotoxin in Alexandrium tamarense, a causative dinoflagellate of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Toxicon. 34:1101-1105.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/737462
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