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Toxins 2018, 10(11), 450;

First Report on the Occurrence of Tetrodotoxins in Bivalve Mollusks in The Netherlands

RIKILT, Wageningen University and Research, Akkermaalsbos 2, 6708WB Wageningen, The Netherlands
Wageningen Marine Research, Korringaweg 7, 4401NT Yerseke, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 August 2018 / Revised: 30 October 2018 / Accepted: 30 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Marine Biotoxins)
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Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is traditionally associated with seafood from tropical regions, but recently TTX was detected in bivalve mollusks in more temperate European waters. In The Netherlands it was therefore decided to monitor TTX in shellfish harvested from Dutch production areas. All shellfish production areas were monitored in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Samples were analyzed using liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In total 1063 samples were investigated, and the highest concentrations were observed in 2016, i.e., 253 µg TTX/kg in oysters and 101 µg TTX/kg in mussels. No TTX analogues, with the exception of 4-epi-TTX in one single sample, were found and contaminated samples also showed positive results in the neuro-2a bioassay. The occurrence of TTX seems to be consistent over the last three years with the highest concentrations observed annually in late June. The causative organism and the reasons why specific Dutch production areas are affected while others are not, are still unclear. Initially in The Netherlands an action limit of 20 µg TTX/kg was used to ensure the safety of consumers (2016), but recently The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) established an acute reference dose, and based on a high portion size of consuming 400 g mussels, this dose was translated into a safe concentration of 44 µg TTX per kg for shellfish. This concentration is now used as an action limit and TTX is formally included in the Dutch shellfish monitoring program. View Full-Text
Keywords: tetrodotoxins; bivalve mollusks; marine biotoxins; LC-MS/MS; neuroblastoma bioassay tetrodotoxins; bivalve mollusks; marine biotoxins; LC-MS/MS; neuroblastoma bioassay

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Gerssen, A.; Bovee, T.H.F.; Klijnstra, M.D.; Poelman, M.; Portier, L.; Hoogenboom, R.L.A.P. First Report on the Occurrence of Tetrodotoxins in Bivalve Mollusks in The Netherlands. Toxins 2018, 10, 450.

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