News Column

Findings from Department of Health in Marine Toxins Reported (Ciguatera fish poisoning in Hong Kong-A 10-year perspective on the class of ciguatoxins)

August 19, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Researchers detail new data in Biological Factors. According to news reporting out of Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "The present study used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to investigate retrospectively ciguatoxin (CTX)-positive samples as determined by mouse bioassay (MBA) in the past 10 years in Hong Kong. The results showed that Pacific CTXs (P-CTX-1, -2 and -3) were the most commonly observed toxins found in the samples, indicating Pacific Ocean areas as the most important origin of ciguatera fish poisoning."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the Department of Health, "Clinical diagnosis from ciguatera patients also revealed the predominance of neurological illnesses in most cases, supporting intoxication of Pacific origin. This study demonstrated the ability of laboratory analysis to identify and quantify Pacific CTXs in suspected fish samples, so as to support the clinical diagnosis of ciguatera. Comparative analysis (Student's t-test and Spearman's rank correlation analysis) on the two CTX detection methods showed approximate linearity for overall P-CTXs (P-CTX-1, -2 and -3)/P-CTX-1 alone as derived by LC-MS/MS and total toxicity levels (P-CTX-1 equivalent) as determined by MBA. The LC-MS/MS method coupled with the rapid extraction method could allow the detection of trace amount of CTXs at levels below the clinically relevant limit, 0.1 ppb P-CTX-1 in fish flesh."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "For practical application, the adoption of a two-tiered approach for testing, chemical analysis by LC-MS/MS for toxic fish screening, coupled with biological assay by MBA for final toxicity confirmation, was proposed for first-line screening of CTX in potentially contaminated fish samples in the market, with an aim to minimizing the use of laboratory mice and at the same time providing reasonably effective means for routine analysis."

For more information on this research see: Ciguatera fish poisoning in Hong Kong-A 10-year perspective on the class of ciguatoxins. Toxicon, 2014;86():96-106. Toxicon can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier -; Toxicon -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.K. Wong, Center Hlth Protect, Public Hlth Lab Serv Branch, Dept. of Hlth, Kowloon, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China. Additional authors for this research include P. Hung and J.Y.C. Lo (see also Biological Factors).

Keywords for this news article include: Ciguatoxins, Marine Toxins, Biological Factors, People's Republic of China

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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