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Mar. Drugs 2008, 6(2), 39-72; doi:10.3390/md6020039

Azaspiracid Shellfish Poisoning: A Review on the Chemistry, Ecology, and Toxicology with an Emphasis on Human Health Impacts

1,* , 2
1 Marine Biotoxins Program, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, NOAA/National Ocean Service, 219 Fort Johnson Road, Charleston SC 29412, USA 2 Biotoxin Chemistry, Marine Institute, Rinville, Oranmore, Ireland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2007 / Revised: 21 February 2008 / Accepted: 18 March 2008 / Published: 7 May 2008
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Toxins)
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Azaspiracids (AZA) are polyether marine toxins that accumulate in various shellfish species and have been associated with severe gastrointestinal human intoxications since 1995. This toxin class has since been reported from several countries, including Morocco and much of western Europe. A regulatory limit of 160 μg AZA/kg whole shellfish flesh was established by the EU in order to protect human health; however, in some cases, AZA concentrations far exceed the action level. Herein we discuss recent advances on the chemistry of various AZA analogs, review the ecology of AZAs, including the putative progenitor algal species, collectively interpret the in vitro and in vivo data on the toxicology of AZAs relating to human health issues, and outline the European legislature associated with AZAs.
Keywords: azaspiracid (AZA); AZP; shellfish poisoning. azaspiracid (AZA); AZP; shellfish poisoning.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Twiner, M.J.; Rehmann, N.; Hess, P.; Doucette, G.J. Azaspiracid Shellfish Poisoning: A Review on the Chemistry, Ecology, and Toxicology with an Emphasis on Human Health Impacts. Mar. Drugs 2008, 6, 39-72.

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