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A comparative analysis of methods (LC-MS/MS, LC-MS and rapid test kits) for the determination of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in oysters, mussels and pipis

Ajani, PA, Sarowar, C, Turnbull, AR ORCID: 0000-0001-5701-8728, Farrell, H, Zammit, A, Helleren, S, Hallegraeff, GM ORCID: 0000-0001-8464-7343 and Murray, SA 2021 , 'A comparative analysis of methods (LC-MS/MS, LC-MS and rapid test kits) for the determination of diarrhetic shellfish toxins in oysters, mussels and pipis' , Toxins, vol. 13, no. 8 , pp. 1-23 , doi:

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Rapid methods for the detection of biotoxins in shellfish can assist the seafood industry and safeguard public health. Diarrhetic Shellfish Toxins (DSTs) are produced by species of the dinoflagellate genus Dinophysis, yet the comparative efficacy of their detection methods has not been systematically determined. Here, we examined DSTs in spiked and naturally contaminated shellfish–Sydney Rock Oysters (Saccostrea glomerata), Pacific Oysters (Magallana gigas/Crassostrea gigas), Blue Mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and Pipis (Plebidonax deltoides/Donax deltoides), using LC-MS/MS and LC-MS in 4 laboratories, and 5 rapid test kits (quantitative Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Protein Phosphatase Inhibition Assay (PP2A), and qualitative Lateral Flow Assay (LFA)). We found all toxins in all species could be recovered by all laboratories using LC-MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography—tandem Mass Spectrometry) and LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography—Mass Spectrometry); however, DST recovery at low and mid-level concentrations (0.86 mg/kg) was higher (60–262%). While no clear differences were observed between shellfish, all kits delivered an unacceptably high level (25–100%) of falsely compliant results for spiked samples. The LFA and the PP2A kits performed satisfactorily for naturally contaminated pipis (0%, 5% falsely compliant, respectively). There were correlations between spiked DSTs and quantitative methods was highest for LC-MS (r2 = 0.86) and the PP2A kit (r2 = 0.72). Overall, our results do not support the use of any DST rapid test kit as a stand-alone quality assurance measure at this time.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Ajani, PA and Sarowar, C and Turnbull, AR and Farrell, H and Zammit, A and Helleren, S and Hallegraeff, GM and Murray, SA
Keywords: LC-MS, rapid test kit, biotoxins, shellfish, diarrhetic shellfish toxins, Dinophysis
Journal or Publication Title: Toxins
Publisher: MDPIAG
ISSN: 2072-6651
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license ( 4.0/).

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