Accumulation of gliotoxin, a cytotoxic mycotoxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, in blue mussel (Mytilus edulis)


Grovel O, Pouchus YF, Verbist JF

Date: 4 October 2003


A strain of Aspergillus fumigatus has been isolated from sediments of a mussel bed. When cultured in hyper saline conditions (with sea-water), it produces a cytotoxic and immunosuppressive toxin, gliotoxin, which is excreted in an exudate. In order to know if this toxin could represent a risk for shellfish consumers, an experiment of bioaccumulation of gliotoxin in mussel has been carried out. After 6 days of contamination, toxin was accumulated in the meat of the mussels, at a level up to 2.9 μg/mg of extract weight, with a mode of contamination different to the classical digestive process described for a majority of marine toxins, but similar to the contamination mode of domoic acid.

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