Pacific ciguatoxins in food web components of coral reef systems in the Republic of Kiribati

Yim Ling MAK, Tak-Cheung WAI, Margaret B. MURPHY, Wing Hei CHAN, Jia Jun WU, Chung Wah James LAM, Leo L. CHAN, Paul K. S. LAM

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a foodborne illness caused by consumption of coral reef fishes contaminated by ciguatoxins (CTXs); of the known CTX congeners, the Pacific ciguatoxins (P-CTXs) are the most toxic. Little is known about the trophodynamics of P-CTXs in coral reef systems. The present study explores the distribution, transfer, and trophic magnification of P-CTX-1, -2, and -3 in coral reef systems with high (ciguatoxic) and low (reference) ciguatoxicity in a CFP-endemic nation by use of liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). In ciguatoxic coral reef systems, P-CTXs were detected in 54% of herbivorous fishes [total P-CTXs <0.500–1670 pg/g wet weight (ww)], 72% of omnivorous fishes (<0.500–1810 pg/g ww), and 76% of carnivorous fishes (<0.500–69 500 pg/g ww), as well as a lobster (Panulirus penicillatus; 2.36 pg/g ww) and an octopus (Octopodidae; 2.56 pg/g ww). The dominant P-CTXs in grazers and piscivorous fishes were P-CTX-2 and -1, respectively. No significant correlation between P-CTX levels and lipid content in three target predatory fishes indicated that accumulation of P-CTXs does not depend on fat content. A weak but significant positive relationship was observed between δ15N and P-CTX-1 levels, but further investigation is required to confirm its biomagnification potential. Copyright © 2013 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14070-14079
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Volume47
Issue number24
Early online dateNov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Citation

Mak, Y. L., Wai, T.-C., Murphy, M. B., Chan, W. H., Wu, J. J., Lam, J. C. W., . . . Lam, P. K. S. (2013). Pacific ciguatoxins in food web components of coral reef systems in the Republic of Kiribati. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(24), 14070-14079. doi: 10.1021/es403175d

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