NOAA discovers way to detect low-level exposure to seafood toxin in marine animals
May 07, 2012
Discovery has potential human-health benefits
NOAA scientists and their colleagues have discovered a biological marker in the blood of laboratory zebrafish and marine mammals that shows when they have been repeatedly exposed to low levels of domoic acid, which is potentially toxic at high levels.
While little is known about how low-level exposure to domoic acid affects marine animals or humans, high-level exposure through eating contaminated seafood can be toxic, and can lead to amnesic shellfish poisoning, with symptoms such as seizures, short-term memory loss and, in rare cases, death. Domoic acid is produced by particular species of marine algae and accumulates in marine animals such as clams and mussels.
The findings are reported in a study published in Public Library of Science journal (PLoS ONE), a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Up until now, the absence of a marker for such chronic exposure has been a barrier to accurately assessing possible effects to humans.
"This study paves the way for creating reliable blood tests for low-level domoic acid exposure, which could help scientists assess the effects of chronic exposure to both wildlife and people who eat seafood," said Kathi Lefebvre, Ph.D., a NOAA fisheries biologist and the lead author of the study. "We don't know yet if the same antibody response we found in the laboratory in zebrafish and naturally exposed California sea lions also occurs in humans. Our next step is to team up with human-health experts to answer that question."
In the NOAA study, scientists injected zebrafish two to four times a month over nine months with low levels of domoic acid in the laboratory. Although the zebrafish appeared healthy after 18 weeks, scientists detected an antibody response for domoic acid in blood samples. Scientists found a similar antibody response in blood samples taken from wild sea lions from central California, confirming that natural exposure to the toxin produces a similar response in marine mammals.
The researchers also found that long-term, low-level exposure to domoic acid does not build tolerance or resistance to it, but instead makes zebrafish more sensitive to the neurotoxin.
Domoic acid was first identified as a shellfish toxin in 1987, after more than 100 people were sickened from eating contaminated mussels harvested off the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. In 1998, more than 400 California sea lions died on the U.S. west coast after consuming anchovies containing domoic acid.
Since the early 1990s, regular monitoring of shellfish has protected people from amnesic shellfish poisoning caused by high levels of domoic acid.
Lefebvre will continue to work with co-authors, John D. Hansen, Ph.D, an immunologist with the U.S. Geological Survey-Western Fisheries Research Center, Donald R. Smith, Ph.D., a toxicologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and David J. Marcinek, Ph.D., a physiologist at the University of Washington, to look for health consequences of low-level exposure to domoic acid using the antibody marker.
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Related Domoic Acid Current Events and Domoic Acid News ArticlesNitrogen from pollution, natural sources causes growth of toxic algae, study finds
Nitrogen in ocean waters fuels the growth of two tiny but toxic phytoplankton species that are harmful to marine life and human health, warns a new study published in the Journal of Phycology. Toxic red tides: USC scientist tracks neurotoxin-producing algae
With toxic algal blooms - which can increase the amount of harmful toxins in the shellfish that California residents consume - ramping up in frequency and severity locally, scientists at USC have developed a new algae monitoring method in hopes of one day being able to predict when and where toxic "red tides" will occur.LSU Oceanography Researcher Discovers Toxic Algae in Open Water
LSU's Sibel Bargu, along with her former graduate student Ana Garcia, from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in LSU's School of the Coast & Environment, has discovered toxic algae in vast, remote regions of the open ocean for the first time. Iron stimulates blooms of toxin-producing algae in open ocean, study finds
A team of marine scientists has found that toxin-producing algae once thought to be limited to coastal waters are also common in the open ocean, where the addition of iron from natural or artificial sources can stimulate rapid growth of the harmful algae.Scientists report first remote, underwater detection of harmful algae, toxins
Scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have successfully conducted the first remote detection of a harmful algal species and its toxin below the ocean's surface.Scientists Discover 'Hot Spot' for Toxic Harmful Algal Blooms Off Washington Coast
A new study funded by NOAA and the National Science Foundation reveals that a part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington state from Canada's British Columbia, is a potential "hot spot" for toxic harmful algal blooms affecting the Washington and British Columbia coasts.'Hot spot' for toxic harmful algal blooms discovered off Washington coast
A part of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which separates Washington state from Canada's British Columbia, is a potential "hot spot" for toxic harmful algal blooms affecting the Washington and British Columbia coasts.'Deadly dozen' reports diseases worsened by climate change
Health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society today released a report that lists 12 pathogens that could spread into new regions as a result of climate change, with potential impacts to both human and wildlife health and global economies.Prenatal Exposure to Marine Toxin Causes Lasting Damage
Duke University Medical Center researchers have found that the naturally occurring marine toxin domoic acid can cause subtle but lasting cognitive damage in rats exposed to the chemical before birth.
More Domoic Acid Current Events and Domoic Acid News Articles
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen|
by Harold McGee (Author)
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its twentieth anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
Comparison of domoic acid concentration in king scallops, Pecten maximus from seabed and suspended culture systems.: An article from: Journal of Shellfish Research|
by Yvonne M. Bogan (Author), David Kennedy (Author), Anne L. Harkin (Author), John Gillespie (Author), Philipp Hess (Author), John W. Slater (Author)
This digital document is an article from Journal of Shellfish Research, published by Thomson Gale on April 1, 2006. The length of the article is 5654 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
Title: Comparison of domoic acid concentration in king scallops, Pecten maximus from seabed and suspended culture systems.
Author: Yvonne M. Bogan
Publication: Journal of Shellfish Research (Magazine/Journal)
Date: April 1, 2006
Publisher: Thomson Gale
Volume: 25 Issue: 1 Page: 129(7)
Distributed by Thomson...
Chromatographic separation for domoic acid using a fragment imprinted polymer [An article from: Analytica Chimica Acta]|
by T. Kubo (Author), M. Nomachi (Author), K. Nemoto (Author), T. Sano (Author), K Hosoya (Author)
This digital document is a journal article from Analytica Chimica Acta, published by Elsevier in 2006. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Media Library immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
We prepared molecularly imprinted polymers for an amnesic shellfish poison, domoic acid. To prepare the polymer, we tested several commercial aromatic dicarboxylic compounds such as isomers of phthalic acid for templates of molecularly imprinted polymers. The highest selective recognition ability of the polymer for domoic acid in the tested compounds was found when o-phthalic acid was used as the template. The ability was due to the acidity of the carboxylic acids in the domoic acid and the similarity of the...
Solid-phase extraction-fluorimetric high performance liquid chromatographic determination of domoic acid in natural seawater mediated by an amorphous ... [An article from: Analytica Chimica Acta]|
by I.O.M. Chan (Author), V.W.H. Tsang (Author), K.K. Chu (Author), S.K. Leung (Author), L (Author)
This digital document is a journal article from Analytica Chimica Acta, published by Elsevier in 2007. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Media Library immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
The feasibility of using sol-gel amorphous titania (TiO"2) as a solid-phase sorbent for the pre-concentration of domoic acid (DA), a potent amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) toxin, directly from seawater was explored. The sol-gel titania material is able to adsorb DA from seawater, via the formation of ester-linkage between the carboxylic moieties of DA and the Ti-OH groups on the sorbent surface, at low pH and desorb it at high pH. The chemisorption process is not significantly interfered by the seawater...
Rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of the algal toxin domoic acid.(Abstract): An article from: Journal of Shellfish Research|
by R. Wayne Litaker (Author), Thomas N. Stewart (Author), Bich-Thuy L. Eberhart (Author), John C. Wekell (Author), Vera L. Trainer (Author), Raphael M. Kudela (Author), Peter E. Miller (Author), Alice Roberts (Author), Cassandra Hertz (Author), Tyler A. Johnson (Author), Greg Frankfurter (Author), G. Jason Smith (Author), Astrid Schnetzer (Author), Joe Schumacker (Author), Jonnette L. Bastian (Author), Anthony Odell (Author), Patrick Gentien (Author), Dominique Le Gal (Author), D. Ransom Hardison (Author), Patricia A. Tester (Author)
This digital document is an article from Journal of Shellfish Research, published by National Shellfisheries Association, Inc. on December 1, 2008. The length of the article is 7227 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
Title: Rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of the algal toxin domoic acid.(Abstract)
Author: R. Wayne Litaker
Publication: Journal of Shellfish Research (Magazine/Journal)
Date: December 1, 2008
Publisher: National Shellfisheries Association, Inc.
Volume: 27 Issue: 5 Page: 1301(10)
Article Type: Abstract
Distributed by Gale, a part of Cengage...
Chemist flexes research mussels to save lives. (Articles).(Cory Pye researches domoic acid in seafood): An article from: Canadian Chemical News|
by Paul Fitzgerald (Author)
This digital document is an article from Canadian Chemical News, published by Chemical Institute of Canada on January 1, 2003. The length of the article is 480 words. The page length shown above is based on a typical 300-word page. The article is delivered in HTML format and is available in your Amazon.com Digital Locker immediately after purchase. You can view it with any web browser.
Title: Chemist flexes research mussels to save lives. (Articles).(Cory Pye researches domoic acid in seafood)
Author: Paul Fitzgerald
Publication: Canadian Chemical News (Magazine/Journal)
Date: January 1, 2003
Publisher: Chemical Institute of Canada
Volume: 55 Issue: 1 Page: 25(1)
Distributed by Thomson...
The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Mental Clarity|
by Rebecca Katz (Author), Mat Edelson (Author)
A collection of more than 120 recipes formulated to optimize brain health, boost memory, improve mood, sharpen the central nervous system, and more.
Feed your mind.
Depression, ADHD, memory loss, agitation: These may seem like inevitable byproducts of modern lives spent multitasking, not getting enough sleep, and operating on digital overload. But while much of the brain’s work still remains a mystery, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the food you eat directly affects how well your brain functions. Brain health also plays a significant role in staving off diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
In The Healthy Mind Cookbook, Rebecca Katz has harnessed the latest research on the brain to identify the foods that can improve the...
Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain, 3rd Edition|
by Mark F. Bear (Author), Barry W. Connors (Author), Michael A. Paradiso (Author)
Widely praised for its student-friendly style and exceptional artwork and pedagogy, Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain is a leading undergraduate textbook on the biology of the brain and the systems that underlie behavior. This edition provides increased coverage of taste and smell, circadian rhythms, brain development, and developmental disorders and includes new information on molecular mechanisms and functional brain imaging. Path of Discovery boxes, written by leading researchers, highlight major current discoveries. In addition, readers will be able to assess their knowledge of neuroanatomy with the Illustrated Guide to Human Neuroanatomy, which includes a perforated self-testing workbook.This edition's robust ancillary package includes a bound-in student CD-ROM, an Instructor's...
Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln's Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities|
by Amy Stewart (Author), Briony Morrow-Cribbs (Illustrator)
A tree that sheds poison daggers; a glistening red seed that stops the heart; a shrub that causes paralysis; a vine that strangles; and a leaf that triggered a war. In Wicked Plants, Stewart takes on over two hundred of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations. It’s an A to Z of plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. You’ll learn which plants to avoid (like exploding shrubs), which plants make themselves exceedingly unwelcome (like the vine that ate the South), and which ones have been killing for centuries (like the weed that killed Abraham Lincoln's mother).
Menacing botanical illustrations and splendidly ghastly drawings create a fascinating portrait of the evildoers that may be lurking in your own backyard. Drawing on history, medicine, science, and...
Dying to Remember|
by Glen Apseloff (Author)
When Dr. Christopher Barnes awakens from a coma, his world lies in pieces. A neurotoxin has left the surgeon with a rare form of amnesia that prevents him from forming new memories. Any new information vanishes within moments.Then he learns that his wife has been murdered…and he’ll have to relearn this every day.He vows to solve the case himself, but the police have their own theory—one that puts him at the center of a conspiracy to commit homicide.Barnes spends his days piecing the crime together and trying to separate friend from foe. The more the cops build their case against him, the closer he gets to the truth…but the deeper he falls into danger.Revised edition: This edition of Dying to Remember includes editorial revisions.