Medycyna Wet. 67 (9), 599-603, 2011
Michalski M.
Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP) as a risk for consumer health
Polish consumers show increasing interest in “frutti di mare,” including molluscs, which are another potential source of food poisoning. Biotoxins enter the organism of a mollusc through its digestive tract together with plankton, which is its main food, and accumulate in the muscles and hepatopancreas. The main marine biotoxins are diuretic toxins causing diarrhoea, toxins affecting the nervous system, amnesic toxins, and paralytic toxins. Amnesic toxins, causing ASP, are produced by marine algae such as diatoms and red algae: Chondria spp. Symptoms of ASP in humans occur 24 hours after the consumption of contaminated shellfish in mild poisoning, and from ½ to 6 hours in acute poisoning. The symptoms of poisoning include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, dizziness, headache, confusion, breathing difficulties, and coma. A characteristic symptom of ASP is a usual short-term memory loss. In most cases, neurological symptoms disappear after 48 hours. Some of the symptoms, such as memory problems, may persist even up to 100 days. Mortality is at 4%. The total quantity of amnesic toxins in the whole mussel or any of its edible parts must not exceed 20mg/kg of mussel meat. Amnesic toxins are detected by chromatographic techniques (HPLC) combined with mass spectrometry and by alternative methods, such as Elisa, phosphatase tests, capillary electrophoresis, and immunochromatography.
Keywords: Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning (ASP), domoic acid, detection of ASP, molluscs.