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Mar. Drugs 2015, 13(12), 7087-7112;

Potential Threats Posed by New or Emerging Marine Biotoxins in UK Waters and Examination of Detection Methodologies Used for Their Control: Cyclic Imines

Scottish Association for Marine Science, Scottish Marine Institute, Oban PA37 1QA, Scotland, UK
Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 8UB, UK
Agri-food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX, Northern Ireland, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vítor Vasconcelos
Received: 11 September 2015 / Revised: 28 October 2015 / Accepted: 3 November 2015 / Published: 26 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Marine Toxins)
PDF [1799 KB, uploaded 26 November 2015]


Cyclic imines (CIs) are a group of phytoplankton produced toxins related to shellfish food products, some of which are already present in UK and European waters. Their risk to shellfish consumers is poorly understood, as while no human intoxication has been definitively related to this group, their fast acting toxicity following intraperitoneal injection in mice has led to concern over their human health implications. A request was therefore made by UK food safety authorities to examine these toxins more closely to aid possible management strategies. Of the CI producers only the spirolide producer Alexandrium ostenfeldii is known to exist in UK waters at present but trends in climate change may lead to increased risk from other organisms/CI toxins currently present elsewhere in Europe and in similar environments worldwide. This paper reviews evidence concerning the prevalence of CIs and CI-producing phytoplankton, together with testing methodologies. Chemical, biological and biomolecular methods are reviewed, including recommendations for further work to enable effective testing. Although the focus here is on the UK, from a strategic standpoint many of the topics discussed will also be of interest in other parts of the world since new and emerging marine biotoxins are of global concern. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyclic imines; shellfish; harmful phytoplankton; biotoxins cyclic imines; shellfish; harmful phytoplankton; biotoxins

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Davidson, K.; Baker, C.; Higgins, C.; Higman, W.; Swan, S.; Veszelovszki, A.; Turner, A.D. Potential Threats Posed by New or Emerging Marine Biotoxins in UK Waters and Examination of Detection Methodologies Used for Their Control: Cyclic Imines. Mar. Drugs 2015, 13, 7087-7112.

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