Detection of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins by a Solid-Phase Inhibition Immunoassay Using a Microsphere-Flow Cytometry System

María Fraga, Natalia Vilariño, M Carmen Louzao, Katrina Campbell, Christopher T Elliott, Kentaro Kawatsu, Mercedes R Vieytes, Luis M Botana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a toxic syndrome described in humans following the ingestion of seafood contaminated with saxitoxin and/or its derivatives. The presence of these toxins in shellfish is considered an important health threat and their levels in seafood destined to human consumption are regulated in many countries, as well as the levels of other chemically unrelated toxins. We studied the feasibility of immunodetection of saxitoxin and its analogs using a solid-phase microsphere assay coupled to flow cytometry detection in a Luminex 200 system. The technique consists of a competition assay where the toxins in solution compete with bead-bound saxitoxin for binding to an antigonyautoxin 2/3 monoclonal antibody (GT-13A). The assay allowed the detection of saxitoxin both in buffer and mussel extracts in the range of 2.2-19.7 ng/mL (IC(20)-IC(80)). Moreover, the assay cross-reactivity with other toxins of the group is similar to previously published immunoassays, with adequate detection of most analogs except N-1 hydroxy analogs. The recovery rate of the assay for saxitoxin was close to 100%. This microsphere-based immunoassay is suitable to be used as a screening method, detecting saxitoxin from 260 to 2360 µg/kg. This microsphere/flow cytometry system provided similar sensitivities to previously published immunoassays and provides a solid background for the development of easy, flexible multiplexing of toxin detection in one sample.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4350-6
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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