Publications: Peer-reviewed journal articles (by staff)

Detection of Tetrodotoxin from the grey sided-gilled sea slug - Pleurobranchaea maculata, and associated dog neurotoxicosis on beaches adjacent to the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand

1 January, 2010
CITATION

McNabb P, Selwood AI, van Ginkel R, Holland PT, MacKenzie LA, Rhodes LL, Wood SA, Taylor DI, Cornelisen C, Heasman K, Munday R, King C 2010. Detection of Tetrodotoxin from the grey sided-gilled sea slug - Pleurobranchaea maculata, and associated dog neurotoxicosis on beaches adjacent to the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand. Toxicon 56, 466-473.

ABSTRACT

Investigations into a series of dog poisonings on beaches in Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, resulted in the identification of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in the grey side-gilled sea slug, Pleurobranchaea maculata. The levels of TTX in P. maculata, assayed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) ranged from 91 to 850 mg kg(-1) with a median level of 365 mg kg(-1) (n = 12). In two of the dog poisoning cases, vomit and gastrointestinal contents were found to contain TTX. Adult P maculata were maintained in aquaria for several weeks. Levels of TTX decreased only slightly with time. While in the aquaria, P. maculata spawned, with each individual producing 2-4 egg masses. The egg masses and 2-week old larvae also contained TTX. Tests for other marine toxins were negative and no other organisms from the area contained TTX. This is the first time TTX has been identified in New Zealand and the first detection of TTX in an opisthobranch.

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