Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a syndrome caused by the consumption of shellfish contaminated with neurotoxins produced by organisms of themarine dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium. A. minutum is the mostwidespread species responsible for PSP in theWestern Mediterranean basin. The standard monitoring of shellfish farms for the presence of harmful algae and related toxins usually requires the microscopic examination of phytoplankton populations, bioassays and toxin determination by HPLC. These procedures are time-consuming and require remarkable experience, thus limiting the number of specimens that can be analyzed by a single laboratory unit.Molecular biology techniques may be helpful in the detection of target microorganisms in field samples. In this study, we developed a qualitative PCR assay for the rapid detection of all potentially toxic species belonging to the Alexandrium genus and specifically A. minutum, in contaminated mussels. Alexandrium genus-specific primers were designed to target the 5.8S rDNA region, while an A. minutum species-specific primer was designed to bind in the ITS1 region. The assay was validated using several fixed seawater samples fromthe Mediterranean basin, which were analyzed using PCR along with standard microscopy procedures. The assay provided a rapid method for monitoring the presence of Alexandrium spp. in mussel tissues, as well as in seawater samples. The results showed that PCR is a valid, rapid alternative procedure for the detection of target phytoplankton species either in seawater or directly in mussels, where microalgae can accumulate

Development of a qualitative PCR method for the Alexandrium (Dinophyceae) detection in contaminated mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis)

GALLUZZI, LUCA;PENNA, ANTONELLA;BERTOZZINI, ELENA;MAGNANI, MAURO
2005-01-01

Abstract

Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a syndrome caused by the consumption of shellfish contaminated with neurotoxins produced by organisms of themarine dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium. A. minutum is the mostwidespread species responsible for PSP in theWestern Mediterranean basin. The standard monitoring of shellfish farms for the presence of harmful algae and related toxins usually requires the microscopic examination of phytoplankton populations, bioassays and toxin determination by HPLC. These procedures are time-consuming and require remarkable experience, thus limiting the number of specimens that can be analyzed by a single laboratory unit.Molecular biology techniques may be helpful in the detection of target microorganisms in field samples. In this study, we developed a qualitative PCR assay for the rapid detection of all potentially toxic species belonging to the Alexandrium genus and specifically A. minutum, in contaminated mussels. Alexandrium genus-specific primers were designed to target the 5.8S rDNA region, while an A. minutum species-specific primer was designed to bind in the ITS1 region. The assay was validated using several fixed seawater samples fromthe Mediterranean basin, which were analyzed using PCR along with standard microscopy procedures. The assay provided a rapid method for monitoring the presence of Alexandrium spp. in mussel tissues, as well as in seawater samples. The results showed that PCR is a valid, rapid alternative procedure for the detection of target phytoplankton species either in seawater or directly in mussels, where microalgae can accumulate
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2504799
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