Risk to consumers from fungal toxins in shellfish should be monitored

Sep 05, 2013

To protect consumers, screening shellfish for fungal toxins is important, say scientists.

Research, published today (06 September) in the Society for Applied Microbiology (SfAM) journal, Letters in Applied Microbiology, shows that in an area with contamination by strains of Penicillium fungus, bivalve molluscs (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, etc.) will contain toxins at much higher levels that are found in the surrounding environment.

Professor Yves François Pouchus, from the University of Nantes, France, led the research, he said "A high level of toxins in the shellfish tells us that we have to be careful not to underestimate the impact of certain Penicillium strains in the water where shellfish are harvested for ."

Professor Pouchus' team have found that the fungi actually produce more toxin when growing inside or in a medium containing mussel extract.

Although toxins from Penicillium don't cause acute food poisoning, they can have a negative impact on cells and DNA. In theory, these could cause health issues in the long term, such as cancer.

Pouchus concluded "At this point, we think it would be pertinent to begin screening edible shellfish for mycotoxins in order to protect consumers."

Explore further: Stopping Candida in its tracks

Related Stories

Cause of mussel poisoning identified

Mar 24, 2009

The origin of the neurotoxin azaspiracid has finally been identified after a search for more than a decade. The azaspiracid toxin group can cause severe poisoning in human consumers of mussels after being ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

9 minutes ago

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

Stopping Candida in its tracks

13 hours ago

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how a normally harmless fungus changes to become a deadly infectious agent.

New technique maps elusive chemical markers on proteins

Jul 02, 2015

Unveiling how the 20,000 or so proteins in the human body work—and malfunction—is the key to understanding much of health and disease. Now, Salk researchers developed a new technique that allows scientists ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.