paralytic shellfish toxin?

Peter M. Muriana muriana at
Sun May 8 20:38:10 EST 1994

In article <Pine.3.05.9405081400.A13626-a100000 at>,
 guia at CC.UManitoba.CA (Antonio Guia) writes:
>On Fri, 6 May 1994, Peter M. Muriana wrote:
>> I'm drawing on memory here but I recall that paralytic shellfish toxin is due 
>> to saxitoxin produced by certain dinoflagellates (Gonyaulax tamaerensis?).  
>> fragile than others and may "lyse" in the surf and saxitoxin distributed 
>> in the sea spray near shore could further affect sea birds, shore animals, 
>> etc.  I knew someone who was doing research in that area at the National Mari
>> ne Fisheries Service in Milford, Conn., back in the late '70's.
>Maybe i have gotten the name of the disease wrong, but i was convinced
>that it was domoic acid and that an antidote has been found to be kainic
>acid.  This research was done back in the 80's, you may want to check some
>references by Pinsky around that time.
>-Antonio Guia

I believe domoic acid and kainic acid are *both* toxic amino acids produced
by marine sources; domoic acid from a marine diatom, Nitzschia pungens,which
can contaminate mussels.  The saxitoxin that I mentioned above, together 
with a number of other closely related neurotoxins (neosaxitoxin, 
gonyautoxin I, II, III, IV, and others) are responsible for the syndrome
called "paralytic shellfish poisoning", are produced by several planktonic 
dinoflagellates, are associated with the so-called "red tides", and are 
contracted by similar mechanism - consumption of contaminated bivalves.
Perhaps not the best references (but their all I have):
      Toxins on the half shell: Shellfish monitoring along the California
      Coast.  1991.  Longlois et al., LC-GC vol 9, no. 12. p.838.
      Paralytic shellfish poisoning toxins mediate feeding behavior of sea 
      otters.  1991.  Kvitek et al., Limnol. Oceanogr. vol 36, no.2,p.393.

Regards, Peter
*  Peter M. Muriana, Ph.D.		Phone	= (317)-494-8284	*
*  Dept. of Food Science		FAX	= (317)-494-7953	*
*  Purdue University		E-mail	= muriana at	*
*  W. Lafayette, IN  47907                                        	*
*	Disclaimer:  The opinions stated above are mine alone		* 
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