Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Multiresidue method for determination of algal toxins in shellfish: Single-laboratory validation and interlaboratory study

1 January, 2005

McNabb P, Selwood AI et al 2005. Multiresidue method for determination of algal toxins in shellfish: Single-laboratory validation and interlaboratory study. Journal of Aoac International 88(3): 761-772.


A method that uses liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) has been developed for the highly sensitive and specific determination of amnesic shellfish poisoning toxins, diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins, and other lipophilic algal toxins and metabolites in shellfish. The method was subjected to a full single-laboratory validation and a limited interlaboratory study. Tissue homogenates are blended with methanol-water (9 + 1), and the centrifuged extract is cleaned up with a hexane wash. LC/MS/MS (triple quadrupole) is used for quantitative analysis with reversed-phase gradient elution (acidic buffer), electrospray ionization (positive and negative ion switching), and multiple-reaction monitoring. Ester forms of dinophysis toxins are detected as the parent toxins after hydrolysis of the methanolic extract. The method is quantitative for 6 key toxins when reference standards are available: azaspiracid-1 (AZA1), domoic acid (DA), gymnodimine (GYM), okadaic acid (OA), pectenotoxin-2 (PTX2), and yessotoxin (YTX). Relative response factors are used to estimate the concentrations of other toxins: azaspiracid-2 and -3 (AZA2 and AZA3), dinophysis toxin-1 and -2 (DTX1 and DTX2), other pectenotoxins (PTX1, PTX6, and PTX11), pectenotoxin secoacid metabolites (PTX2-SA and PTX11-SA) and their 7-epimers, spirolides, and homoYTX and YTX metabolites (45-OHYTX and carboxyYTX). Validation data have been gathered for Greenshell mussel, Pacific oyster, cockle, and scallop roe via fortification and natural contamination. For the 6 key toxins at fortification levels of 0.05-0.20 mg/kg, recoveries were 71-99% and single laboratory reproducibilities, relative standard deviations (RSDs), were 10-24%. Limits of detection were <0.02 mg/kg. Extractability data were also obtained for several toxins by using successive extractions of naturally contaminated mussel samples. A preliminary interlaboratory study was conducted with a set of toxin standards and 4 mussel extracts. The data sets from 8 laboratories for the 6 key toxins plus DTX1 and DTX2 gave with in-laboratories repeatability (RSDr) of 8-12%, except for PTX-2. Between-laboratories reproducibility (RSDR) values were compared with the Horwitz criterion and ranged from good to adequate for 7 key toxins (HorRat values of 0.8-2.0).