The toxicity of the gastropod Nassarius papillosus implicated in a food paralytic poisoning incident in Liuchiu Island, Taiwan, in October 2005 is reported. The symptoms of a victim (67 years old) were featured by general paresthesia, paralysis of phalanges and extremities, paralysis, coma, and aphasia. The remaining specimens of shell were assayed for toxicity. The range of specimen toxicity was found to be 63-474 mouse units (MU) per specimen for N. papillosus by a tetrodotoxin (TTX) bioassay. The mean (SD) toxicity of the digestive gland and other portions were 296 +/- 120 and 382 +/- 156 MU in N. papillosus. The toxin was partially purified from the acidic methanol extract of the gastropod by using a C18 solid-phase extraction column. The eluate was then filtered through a 3000 MW cut-off ultrafree microcentrifuge filter. It was shown that the toxin purified from gastropods analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry contained TTX 42-60 microg g(-1) (about 90%), whereas along with minor paralytic shellfish poisons (PSP) it was 3-6 microg g(-1) (about 10%).
Food Additives and Contaminants 09/2007; 24(8):902-9. DOI:10.1080/02652030701245171 · 2.13 Impact Factor