Azaspiracid poisoning (AZP) toxins in shellfish: toxicological and health considerations

Ambrose Furey, Sinead O'Doherty, Keith O'Callaghan, Mary Lehane, Kevin J James
Toxicon: Official Journal of the International Society on Toxinology 2010 August 15, 56 (2): 173-90
It has been almost a decade since a previously unknown human toxic syndrome, azaspiracid poisoning (AZP), emerged as the cause of severe gastrointestinal illness in humans after the consumption of mussels (Mytilus edulis). Structural studies indicated that these toxins, azaspiracids, were of a new unprecedented class containing novel structural features. It is now known that the prevalent azaspiracids in mussels are AZA1, AZA2 and AZA3, which differ from each other in their degree of methylation. Several hydroxylated and carboxylated analogues of the main azaspiracids have also been identified, presumed to be metabolites of the main toxins. Since its first discovery in Irish mussels, the development of facile sensitive and selective LC-MS/MS methods has resulted in the discovery of AZA in other countries and in other species. Mice studies indicate that this toxin class can cause serious tissue injury, especially to the small intestine, and chronic exposure may increase the likelihood of the development of lung tumours. Studies also show that tissue recovery is very slow following exposure. These observations suggest that AZA is more dangerous than the other known classes of shellfish toxins. Consequently, in order to protect human consumers, proper risk assessment and regulatory control of shellfish and other affected species is of the utmost importance.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.