October 3, 2003



New Technology To Detect Toxins In Fish


A new technology has been developed that may help detect fish toxins arising from algal blooms, according to the US, Seattle-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Co-researched by scientists at the agency's Center for Coastal and Environmental Health and Biomedical Research and the New Zealand-based AgResearch Ltd., this toxin analysis method that can identify brevetoxin in the blood of laboratory animals within an hour of exposure at doses ten times smaller than that needed to produce symptoms.


In other preliminary studies, scientists have found that the tests can also detect the toxin in marine mammals exposed to red tides.

Future research will be directed at the impact of red tides on fish, how quickly they become toxic after encountering red tide and how long aquatic animals continue to disperse toxins to upper levels of the food chain after they leave the red tide area.

The findings are published in the October issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal of the National Institutes of Health.