Quick detection method for paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) monitoring in freshwater: A review

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The objective of this critical review was to provide a comprehensive summary of paralytic shellfish toxins(PSTs) producing species and knowledge gaps in detecting PSTs in drinking water resources, with a focuson recent development of PSTs monitoring methods and tools for drinking water monitoring. PSTs, whichare also called Saxitoxins (STXs), are a group of neurotoxins not only produced by marine dinoflagellatesbut also freshwater cyanobacteria. The presence of PSTs in freshwater has been reported from all con-tinents except Antarctica. PSTs in poisoned sea food such as shellfish, molluscs and crustaceans mayattack the nerve system after consumption. The high incidences of PSTs occurring in drinking watersources showed another route of potential human exposure. A development of simple and fast screeningtools for drinking water surveillance of PSTs is needed. Neurotoxins produced by freshwater cyanobac-teria are understudied relative to microcystin and little study is done around PSTs in drinking watermonitoring. Some fast screening methods exist. The critical issues for using them in water surveillance,particularly matrix effect and cross-reactivity are summarized, and future research directions are high-lighted. We conclude that monitoring routines at drinking water resources should start from specieslevel, followed by a profound screening of toxin profile. For practical monitoring routine, fast screeningmethods should be combined with highly sensitive and accurate analytical methods such as liquidchromatography/liquid chromatographyemass spectrometry (LC/LC-MS). A thorough understanding oftoxin profile in source water is necessary for screening tool selection.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Water Engineering


  • Drinking water resources, Matrix effect, Screening tool, ELISA, LFACross-reactivity
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 Nov 11
Publication categoryResearch

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