The contamination of seafood with algal toxins can cause severe neuronal and gastrointestinal disorders but also allergies in human. Sporadic outbreaks of poisoning by ingestion of shellfish which have accumulated marine biotoxins have become a world-wide problem. The economic consequences caused by the production of marine biotoxins during algal blooms in the coastal regions are enormous. <P>
In this project, fast, simple and cost-effective detection methods for marine biotoxins in seafood as well as patient sera will be developed, based on the application of high-affinity capture antibodies and novel artificial receptor mimics against the toxins. The applicants already succeeded in raising antibodies against okadaic acid, a diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) toxin. This promising strategy will now be extended to other groups of relevant toxins causing paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) or amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP).
The new tools for the detection (and quantification) of marine biotoxins developed in the proposed project are based on the application of the new Polymer Instruction technology and the highly sensitive Integrated Optical Grating Coupler (IOGC) biosensor technology, and the use of high-affinity antibodies for sensitive ELISA und Western blotting techniques based on an infrared-fluorescence imaging system. User-friendly chip (POCT Chip, dip-stick/card test) assay methods as well as new bioassays based on interaction of okadaic acid with phosph oprotein phosphatase 2A (colorimetric microtitre-plate based PP2A inhibition assay) or the activation/phosphorylation of MAP kinase p38 will be developed. The developed technologies will be compared with existing techniques for evidence of improved efficiency and accuracy. Prototype kits will be manufactured by the companies.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/069_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.