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Reference type: Journal
Authors: McElhiney J, Lawton LA
Article Title: Detection of the cyanobacterial hepatotoxins microcystins.
Publication date: 2005
Journal: Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
Volume: 203
Issue: (3)
Page numbers: 219-230.
DOI: 10.1016/j.taap.2004.06.002
Alternative URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6WXH-4CYR1NR-1/2/a904904f8d74cf226d62f2bcbc1eb23c

Abstract: Concern regarding the presence of microcystins in drinking water and their possible contamination in food (e.g., salad vegetables, fish, shellfish) has resulted in the need for reliable methods for the detection and accurate quantification of this class of toxins. Currently, routine analysis of microcystins is most commonly carried out using high-performance liquid chromatography with photodiode array detection (HPLC-PDA), although more sensitive biological assays such as antibody-based ELISAs and protein phosphatase inhibition assays have also proven useful. However, many of these methods have been hindered by the availability of a wide range of purified microcystins. Although over 60 variants have now been reported, only a very small number are commercially available and calibrated standards are not yet obtainable. This has led to the common practice of reporting microcystin-LR equivalence regardless of which variant is present. The increased availability of HPLC with online mass spectral analysis (HPLC-MS) may facilitate more accurate detection of toxin variants but as several microcystins share the same molecular mass, definitive identification can be difficult. A further difficulty in analyzing microcystins is the requirement for sample processing before analysis. Solid phase extraction (SPE) is typically used to enrich environmental concentrations of microcystins, or to eliminate contaminants from complex samples such as animal and plant tissues. Recently, new technologies employing recombinant antibodies and molecularly imprinted polymers have been exploited to develop assays and biosensors for microcystins. These novel detection systems are highly sensitive, often do not require sample processing, and offer a simpler, less expensive alternative to analytical techniques. They have also been successfully employed in solid phase extraction formats for the concentration and clean up of environmental samples before HPLC analysis
Template and target information: Review - detection of microcystins
Author keywords: cyanotoxins, microcystins, detection, quantification

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