Health risk assessment related to pinnatoxins in French shellfish - Anses - Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail Access content directly
Journal Articles Toxicon Year : 2020

Health risk assessment related to pinnatoxins in French shellfish

Nicolas Delcourt
Valérie Fessard
Jean-Marc Fremy
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Thomas Maignien
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Jean-Paul Vernoux


Pinnatoxins (PnTXs) are a group of emerging marine biotoxins produced by the benthic dinoflagellate Vulcanodinium rugosum, currently not regulated in Europe or in any other country in the world. In France, PnTXs were detected for the first time in 2011, in mussels from the Ingril lagoon (South of France, Mediterranean coast). Since then, analyses carried out in mussels from this lagoon have shown high concentrations of PnTXs for several months each year. PnTXs have also been detected, to a lesser extent, in mussels from other Mediterranean lagoons and on the Atlantic and Corsican coasts. In the French data, the main analog is PnTX G (low levels of PnTX A are also present in some samples). No cases of PnTXs poisoning in humans have been reported so far in France or anywhere else in the world. In mice, PnTXs induce acute neurotoxic effects, within a few minutes after oral administration. Clinical signs of toxicity include decreased mobility, paralysis of the hind legs, tremors, jumps and breathing difficulties leading to death by respiratory arrest at high doses. The French agency for food safety (ANSES) recently conducted a review of the state of knowledge related to PnTXs and V. rugosum. Based on (i) the clinical signs of toxicity in mice, (ii) the mode of action of PnTXs as nicotinic acetylcholine receptor competitive antagonists and (iii) knowledge on drugs and natural toxins with PnTX-related pharmacology, potential human symptoms have been extrapolated and proposed. In this work, a provisional acute benchmark value for PnTX G of 0.13 μg/kg bw per day has been derived from an oral acute toxicity study in mice. Based on this value and a large shellfish meat portion size of 400g, a concentration lower than 23 μg PnTX G/kg shellfish meat is not expected to result in adverse effects in humans. ANSES recommends taking into account PnTXs in the French official monitoring program for shellfish production and identified data gaps to refine health risk assessment.
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anses-02861821 , version 1 (20-05-2022)




Nathalie Arnich, Eric Abadie, Nicolas Delcourt, Valérie Fessard, Jean-Marc Fremy, et al.. Health risk assessment related to pinnatoxins in French shellfish. Toxicon, 2020, 180, pp.1-10. ⟨10.1016/j.toxicon.2020.03.007⟩. ⟨anses-02861821⟩
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