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Receptor Binding Assay for Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning Toxins: Optimization and Interlaboratory Comparison

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A receptor binding assay (RBA) for detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins was formatted for use in a high throughput detection system using microplate scintillation counting. The RBA technology was transferred from the National Ocean Service, which uses a Wallac TriLux 1450 MicroBeta microplate scintillation counter, to the California Department of Health Services, which uses a Packard TopCount scintillation counter. Due to differences in the detector arrangement between these 2 counters, markedly different counting efficiencies were exhibited, requiring optimization of the RBA protocol for the TopCount instrument. Precision, accuracy, and sensitivity [limit of detection = 0.2 μg saxitoxin (STX) equiv/100 g shellfish tissue] of the modified protocol were equivalent to those of the original protocol. The RBA robustness and adaptability were demonstrated by an interlaboratory study, in which STX concentrations in shellfish generated by the TopCount were consistent with MicroBeta-derived values. Comparison of STX reference standards obtained from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Research Council, Canada, showed no observable differences. This study confirms the RBA's value as a rapid, high throughput screen prior to testing by the conventional mouse bioassay (MBA) and its suitability for providing an early warning of increasing PSP toxicity when toxin levels are below the MBA limit of detection.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: California Department of Health Services, Sanitation and Radiation Laboratories Branch, 2151 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 2: California Department of Health Services, Environmental Management Branch, 2151 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94704 3: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Ocean Service, Marine Biotoxins Program, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, 219 Fort Johnson Rd, Charleston, SC 29412

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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