Toxin Detection Technology Transferred to the French National Shellfish Monitoring Program
At the request of the French government, scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) trained members of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER) on how to incorporate the domoic acid detection kit developed by NCCOS into the France’s national shellfish monitoring system.
Domoic acid (DA) is a potent neurotoxin produced by bloom-forming microalgae which accumulates in shellfish causing amnesic shellfish poisoning. It is a major problem in both the United States and France.
The detection kit developed by NOAA and commercialized by Mercury Science provides a rapid, accurate, cost-effective way to monitor for this toxin. Experiments were also conducted on adapting the detection technology into new sensors for offshore buoy systems that will provide early warning of impending DA toxicity in shellfishing areas.