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Open AccessArticle

Fish Hybridization Leads to Uncertainty Regarding Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Risk; Confirmation of Hybridization and Ciguatoxin Accumulation with Implications for Stakeholders

1
Division of Seafood Science and Technology, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dauphin Island, AL 36528, USA
2
Office of Regulatory Science, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, MD 20740, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Contaminants, Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin, Germany.
Current address: Department of Pharmacy, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Napoli Federico II, Via D. Montesano 49, 80131 Napoli, Italy.
§
Current address: Department of Chemistry-BMC, Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University, Box 599, 751 24 Uppsala, Sweden.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7040105
Received: 13 March 2019 / Revised: 12 April 2019 / Accepted: 13 April 2019 / Published: 17 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances and Current Challenges in Marine Biotoxins Monitoring)
Globally, ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) avoidance efforts rely primarily on local knowledge of the fish being consumed, its collection location, and association with illnesses. In 2016, several fish that appeared to be hybrids between a local commercially prized species, Ocyurus chrysurus, and a regionally prohibited species Lutjanus apodus (due to CFP concerns), were caught nearshore in United States Virgin Islands waters, leading to confusion regarding the safety of consuming the fish. The hybrid status of the fish was verified as O. chrysurus (male) × L. apodus (female) by comparing two sets of gene sequences (mitochondrial CO1 and nuclear S7). Using an in vitro mouse neuroblastoma (N2a) assay, one of the hybrid fish exhibited a composite cytotoxicity of 0.038 ppb Caribbean ciguatoxin-1 (C-CTX-1) equivalents (Eq.); a concentration below the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance level for safety in fish products for CFP (0.1 ppb C-CTX-1 Eq.) but approximately 2× above the maximum described in the commercially prized parent species (0.019 ppb C-CTX-1 Eq./g). C-CTX-1 was confirmed in the hybrid sample by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The second hybrid fish tested negative for CTXs. This research confirms hybridization between two species with contrasting commercial statuses, discusses CTX accumulation implications for hybridization, and provides a methodology for future studies into novel CFP vectors, with the goal of providing critical information for fishermen and consumers regarding CFP risk management. View Full-Text
Keywords: ciguatoxin; ciguatera poisoning; hybrid; DNA-based species identification; LC-MS; N2a assay; seafood poisoning ciguatoxin; ciguatera poisoning; hybrid; DNA-based species identification; LC-MS; N2a assay; seafood poisoning
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Loeffler, C.R.; Handy, S.M.; Flores Quintana, H.A.; Deeds, J.R. Fish Hybridization Leads to Uncertainty Regarding Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Risk; Confirmation of Hybridization and Ciguatoxin Accumulation with Implications for Stakeholders. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 105.

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