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Feasibility of Reduction in Use of the Mouse Bioassay: Presence/Absence Screening for Saxitoxin in Frozen Acidified Mussel and Oyster Extracts from the Coast of California with In Vitro Methods.

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In the United States, the detection of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) for regulatory purposes relies on the mouse bioassay (MBA). Using a saxitoxin presence/absence test could reduce animal usage significantly. Three in vitro methods, the RIDASCREEN® Saxitoxin kit, MIST Alert™, and a 5 h neuroblastoma assay, were evaluated in parallel with the MBA using 106 twice-frozen, acidified extracts from California-grown mussel and oyster tissues. For each assay, a cutoff point was established whereby data below or equal to that point were scored as negative and were assigned a score of zero. Data above the cutoff were considered positive and assigned a score of one. Pearson correlation coefficients were generated. The RIDASCREEN, MIST Alert, and neuroblastoma bioassay correlated to the MBA at 0.849, 0.853, and 0.832 when used for presence/absence detection. These data suggest that a reduction in MBA usage could be achieved in the surveillance of California-grown mussels and oysters for PSP-associated toxins. Correlation data between the in vitro assays, cost comparisons, and the potential for false negatives and false positives were examined. Implications of these methodologies in protecting public health are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: California Department of Health Services, Microbial Diseases Laboratory, 850 Marina Bay Pkwy, MS E-164, Richmond, CA 94804.

Publication date: 2004-09-01

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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 The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better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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