Comparative Study on the Performance of Three Detection Methods for the Quantification of Pacific Ciguatoxins in French Polynesian Strains of Gambierdiscus polynesiensis.Mar Drugs. 2022 May 25; 20(6)MD
Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa dinoflagellates produce a suite of secondary metabolites, including ciguatoxins (CTXs), which bioaccumulate and are further biotransformed in fish and marine invertebrates, causing ciguatera poisoning when consumed by humans. This study is the first to compare the performance of the fluorescent receptor binding assay (fRBA), neuroblastoma cell-based assay (CBA-N2a), and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for the quantitative estimation of CTX contents in 30 samples, obtained from four French Polynesian strains of Gambierdiscus polynesiensis. fRBA was applied to Gambierdiscus matrix for the first time, and several parameters of the fRBA protocol were refined. Following liquid/liquid partitioning to separate CTXs from other algal compounds, the variability of CTX contents was estimated using these three methods in three independent experiments. All three assays were significantly correlated with each other, with the highest correlation coefficient (r2 = 0.841) found between fRBA and LC-MS/MS. The CBA-N2a was more sensitive than LC-MS/MS and fRBA, with all assays showing good repeatability. The combined use of fRBA and/or CBA-N2a for screening purposes and LC-MS/MS for confirmation purposes allows for efficient CTX evaluation in Gambierdiscus. These findings, which support future collaborative studies for the inter-laboratory validation of CTX detection methods, will help improve ciguatera risk assessment and management.