Special Issue "A ‘One-Health Focus’ on Natural Aquatic Toxins"

A special issue of Marine Drugs (ISSN 1660-3397).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 May 2020) | Viewed by 4188

Special Issue Editors

Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Weymouth Laboratory, Lowestoft, UK
Interests: assessment of new marine toxin threats; cyanobacterial toxins; method development; reference materials; rapid testing methods; one health impacts
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Marine Toxicology & Chemistry, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688, USA
Interests: marine and freshwater toxin chemistry; biochemical pathways; metabolism; biomarkers of exposure; and method development for detection of chemical hazards in seafood
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural aquatic toxins are produced naturally by certain species of algae and bacteria in a wide range of aquatic environments and may subsequently accumulate in aquatic foodstuffs such as shellfish and fish, causing significant global risk to consumers. In addition, toxins are known to impact directly and indirectly upon both animal and ecosystem health. Different toxin groups exist, many of which are regulated to ensure consumer protection, although in recent years other groups have emerged, causing varying degrees of hazard and associated human health risks. Given the number and complexity of toxin congeners potentially associated with each toxin class, and notable differences in relative toxicity and modes of action, there is a continuing need to assess the developing threats from marine shellfish and fish toxins. With the increase in new toxin findings and exposure pathways over the last five years, this Special Issue of Marine Drugs is taking a ‘’One-Health’’ focus on recent advances in marine and freshwater shellfish toxin research, which cause impacts on human, animal, and environmental health. Manuscript submission is encouraged for (1) new findings of marine shellfish and fish toxins and novel toxin/metabolite production mechanisms, (2) studies describing human health impacts, (3) research that describes the interaction between natural aquatic toxins and animal/ecosystem health, and (4) the toxicological evaluation of toxin hazards.

Dr. Andrew D. Turner
Dr. Alison Robertson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Marine Drugs is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Shellfish toxins
  • Cyanotoxins
  • Fish toxins
  • Toxin metabolites
  • Toxicology
  • One-health
  • Environment health
  • Animal health
  • Harmful aquatic blooms

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Multiple New Paralytic Shellfish Toxin Vectors in Offshore North Sea Benthos, a Deep Secret Exposed
Mar. Drugs 2020, 18(8), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/md18080400 - 29 Jul 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3577
In early 2018, a large easterly storm hit the East Anglian coast of the UK, colloquially known as the ‘Beast from the East’, which also resulted in mass strandings of benthic organisms. There were subsequent instances of dogs consuming such organisms, leading to [...] Read more.
In early 2018, a large easterly storm hit the East Anglian coast of the UK, colloquially known as the ‘Beast from the East’, which also resulted in mass strandings of benthic organisms. There were subsequent instances of dogs consuming such organisms, leading to illness and, in some cases, fatalities. Epidemiological investigations identified paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) as the cause, with toxins present in a range of species and concentrations exceeding 14,000 µg STX eq./kg in the sunstar Crossaster papposus. This study sought to better elucidate the geographic spread of any toxicity and identify any key organisms of concern. During the summers of 2018 and 2019, various species of benthic invertebrates were collected from demersal trawl surveys conducted across a variety of locations in the North Sea. An analysis of the benthic epifauna using two independent PST testing methods identified a ‘hot spot’ of toxic organisms in the Southern Bight, with a mean toxicity of 449 µg STX eq./kg. PSTs were quantified in sea chervil (Alcyonidium diaphanum), the first known detection in the phylum bryozoan, as well as eleven other new vectors (>50 µg STX eq./kg), namely the opisthobranch Scaphander lignarius, the starfish Anseropoda placenta, Asterias rubens, Luidia ciliaris, Astropecten irregularis and Stichastrella rosea, the brittlestar Ophiura ophiura, the crustaceans Atelecyclus rotundatus and Munida rugosa, the sea mouse Aphrodita aculeata, and the sea urchin Psammechinus miliaris. The two species that showed consistently high PST concentrations were C. papposus and A. diaphanum. Two toxic profiles were identified, with one dominated by dcSTX (decarbamoylsaxitoxin) associated with the majority of samples across the whole sampling region. The second profile occurred only in North-Eastern England and consisted of mostly STX (Saxitoxin) and GTX2 (gonyautoxin 2). Consequently, this study highlights widespread and variable levels of PSTs in the marine benthos, together with the first evidence for toxicity in a large number of new species. These findings highlight impacts to ‘One Health’, with the unexpected sources of toxins potentially creating risks to animal, human and environmental health, with further work required to assess the severity and geographical/temporal extent of these impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A ‘One-Health Focus’ on Natural Aquatic Toxins)
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