Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Variants Of Diarrhea-causing Toxins Found In Seafood

Date:
March 3, 2009
Source:
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Summary:
Researchers have described new variants of diarrhea-causing toxins in mussels, oysters and crabs. These variants are assumed to be less virulent than the forms of diarrhea toxin we are already familiar with and were found in varying amounts in the different types of seafood examined.

Brown crab - Cancer pagurus.
Credit: Arne Duinker

Trine-Lise Torgersen described in her doctorate new variants of diarrhoea-causing toxins in mussels, oysters and crabs. These variants are assumed to be less virulent than the forms of diarrhoea toxin we are already familiar with and were found in varying amounts in the different types of seafood examined.

For her doctoral thesis, Trine-Lise Torgersen looked at how toxins from algae are taken up and metabolised by mussels and oysters, and also by crabs that eat mussels. During an algal bloom in the ocean, toxins produced by the algae can be taken up by shellfish that filter seawater for food, and the result for the consumer can be diarrhoea, vomiting and nausea. Some of these algal toxins are already well-known.

Torgersen studied how mussels and oysters process some of these toxins, and found that more types of toxin are produced than we previously have been aware of. She also looked at how the toxins are taken up and metabolised by crabs that eat poisonous shellfish. The results indicate that a particularly complex pattern of toxins is formed in these species, and that the levels of modified diarrhoea toxins may be higher than the levels of the known forms, especially in oysters and crabs.

The current procedure for measuring algal toxins involves converting all of the variants back to the original molecule, and then measuring the total amount of original toxin. However, since the modified variants of the toxins can be assumed to be less virulent than the original forms, measuring all of the substances as if they were the original may overestimate the toxicity of the seafood. Therefore, when estimating the risk of food poisoning from shellfish, levels of variants of the original toxin in the various types of seafood should be considered.

In her thesis, Torgersen showed that oysters, mussels and crabs differ regarding the forms of diarrhoea toxin they contained, and also regarding how much of modified variant is present relative to the original toxin. In particular, crabs and oysters contained very little of the original substances and nearly all of the toxin had been converted to other forms. Torgersen therefore recommends that different types of seafood need to be considered individually when estimating the risks of food poisoning from seafood.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. "New Variants Of Diarrhea-causing Toxins Found In Seafood." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219095526.htm>.
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. (2009, March 3). New Variants Of Diarrhea-causing Toxins Found In Seafood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219095526.htm
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. "New Variants Of Diarrhea-causing Toxins Found In Seafood." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090219095526.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins