Influence of seasonality on the presence of okadaic acid associated with Dinophysis species: A four-year study in Sardinia (Italy)
In Sardinia (Italy), bivalve molluscs production plays an important role in the trade balance. Diarrhoetic shellfish poisoning (DSP), an intoxication caused by the ingestion of bivalve molluscs that have accumulated high levels of Okadaic acid (OA), may represent a serious risk for the public health and a remarkable economic loss for the producers. Aim of this work was to improve knowledge about the repeatability of OA accumulation phenomena in various seasons trying to understand whether or not there was a trend. Also, the interaction between toxic algae and OA accumulation was examined. In this study, data of lipophilic toxins, water temperature and abundance of DSP-producing microalgal species were collected in a four-year period (2015–2018) in coastal production areas of Sardinia. Several episodes of OA positive values (>160 eq μgAO/Kg pe, Reg 853/04) were recorded during the study period in different production areas of Sardinia and in different seasons. A seasonal repeatability of OA accumulation in molluscs was observed in some production areas; moreover, different temporal gaps between the presence of toxic algae and OA accumulation were reported. Toxicity was observed almost exclusively in Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamark (99%), being this matrix the most abundant species bred in Sardinia.
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