Project Browser
Project Summary and Statement of Work: Dec, 2010
Progress Report: Jan, 2012
Progress Report: Jul, 2012
Progress Report: Jan, 2013
Progress Report: Jan, 2014
Final Report: Jul, 2014
Metadata & Data
NPRB.2011.18.comparing Mercury_Science_and_Abraxis_assays
Gulf of Alaska
Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands
Ecosystem components
Other Prominent Issues (Contaminants, Harmful Algal Blooms, Invasive Species, Aquaculture)
Samples for testing the kit haver already been obtained from Southeast Alaska
human health
Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning
shellfish resources
saxitoxin detection

1118 Improved Detection Kit for the Toxins Which Cause Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning

Year funded: 2011
Start date: Jul 01, 2011
End date: Jul 30, 2014
Budget: $180,932.00
Metadata: Available At NPRB
Data: Contact PI
Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) is a serious public health threat in Alaska and disproportionately impacts Native Alaskans and others who use shellfish to augment subsistence diets. The neurotoxins which cause PSP are produced by species of microaglae and bioccumulate in shellfish which feed on these microalgae. PSP events occur episodically along the Alaskan coast with long-term residents being ten times more likely to report PSP symptoms compared to short-term residents. PSP intoxications can be severe enough to cause death. Monitoring for PSP toxins by a centrally located laboratory is difficult because of the logistics and costs involved. As a result, most shellfish harvesting has been banned as a public health precaution. The result of this ban is that valuable Alaskan shellfish resources are significantly underutilized. A solution to this problem would be to develop an inexpensive, accurate, and rapid toxin detection test kit which can be used by local resource managers and shellfish growers. There are PSP detection kits currently on the market, but they fail to provide a reliable estimate of risk to consumers. The goal of this project is to leverage resources and research expertise currently available at the FDA, Mercury Science, Inc. and NOAA laboratories to develop a rapid, accurate, affordable field kit capable of detecting the full range of toxins responsible for causing PSP. Both public health and the utilization of shellfish resources will be enhanced.
Principal Investigator(s)
Richard Litaker
101 Pivers Island Rd.
Beaufort NC 28516 USA
Phone: 252-728-8791
Fax: 252-728-8784

Thomas Stewart
Mercury Science, Inc.
2801 Blue Ridge Road
Raleigh NC 27607 USA
Phone: 919-493-0688
Sherwood Hall
US Food & Drug Administration
1500 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park MD 20740 USA
Phone: 301-436-1653