NCCOS Transfers Toxin Detection Method to Maine Start-Up Company to Provide Testing of Paralytic Shellfish Toxins
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) provided training on the NCCOS-developed receptor binding assay (RBA) for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxins to visiting scientist Darcie Couture, lead scientist from Resource Access International, LLC (RAI LLC) in Brunswick, Maine.
The RBA for PSP toxins is a rapid, cost-effective test that measures algal toxins to protect consumers from exposure to contaminated shellfish, and has been accepted as an official method of analysis by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) following a rigorous, international inter-laboratory validation trial. The technique is a candidate for replacing the current approach for regulatory testing of shellfish, which requires injecting shellfish fluids into mice and timing how long it takes for them to die.
RAI LLC provides consulting and laboratory testing for marine biotoxins for governments, universities, researchers, and industry. Transfer of this NCCOS-developed technology to private-sector enterprises avails greater monitoring capabilities to coastal managers and enhances the ability of our partners to protect public health while realizing the economic benefits of expanding shellfish harvests.
For more information, contact Fran.VanDolah@noaa.gov.