Purification of five azaspiracids from mussel samples contaminated with DSP toxins and azaspiracids

Carmen Alfonso, Amparo Alfonso, Paz Otero, Paula Rodríguez, Mercedes R. Vieytes, Chris Elliot, Cowan Higgins, Luis M. Botana*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


Human intoxications during toxic episodes in shellfish are a very important concern for public health, as well as for economic interests of producer regions. Although initially each toxin appeared in a determined geographical zone, nowadays many of them are found in multiple places worldwide. In addition, more toxic compounds (new toxins or new analogs of known toxins) are being isolated and identified, which bring about new risks for public health. An example of this situation is the group of azaspiracids (AZAs). Initially these toxins were concentrated in Irish coasts but today appear in many different geographic locations; in the first toxic episode only three analogs were isolated, but now it is known that the group is comprised of at least eleven identified compounds. A substantial problem associated with all these new toxins is the extreme difficulty associated with the study of their toxic effects and mechanisms of action due to the very small quantities of purified toxin available. Therefore, the study of procedures to isolate them from contaminated shellfish or to synthesize them is of tremendous importance. In this paper we design a complete procedure to obtain AZAs analogs from mussels contaminated with DSP toxins and azaspiracids by means of three consecutive steps: an extraction procedure to remove toxins from shellfish, a solid phase extraction (SPE) to clean the samples and separate DSP toxins and AZAs, and a preparative HPLC to isolate each analog. In all the steps LC/MS is used to detect and quantify the toxins. Large amounts of AZA1, AZA2, AZA3, AZA4 and AZA5 were obtained by use of this procedure, which can be utilized in future studies relating to the toxins such as the production of certified materials and standards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • AZA1
  • AZA2
  • AZA3
  • AZA4
  • AZA5
  • Azaspiracids
  • DSP toxins
  • DTX-2
  • LC/MS
  • OA
  • Preparative HPLC
  • Purification
  • SPE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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