Pablo Estevez, José Manuel Leão-Martins, Ana Gago-Martínez (University of Vigo, Spain); Manoella Sibat, Philipp Hess (Laboratoire Phycotoxines, France); Pedro Reis Costa (Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere, Portugal)
Abstract: Ciguatera poisoning (CP) is a common seafood intoxication mainly caused by the consumption of fish contaminated by ciguatoxins. Recent studies showed that Caribbean ciguatoxin-1 (C-CTX1) is the main toxin causing CP through fish caught in the Northeast Atlantic, e.g., Canary Islands (Spain) and Madeira (Portugal). The use of liquid chromatography coupled to tándem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) combined with neuroblastoma cell assay (N2a) allowed the initial confirmation of the presence of C-CTX1 in contaminated fish samples from the abovementioned areas, nevertheless the lack of commercially available reference materials for these particular ciguatoxin (CTX) analogues has been a major limitation to progress research. The EuroCigua project allowed the preparation of C-CTX1 laboratory reference material (LRM) from fish species (Seriola fasciata) from the Madeira archipelago (Portugal). This reference material was used to implement a liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) for the detection of C-CTX1, acquisition of full-scan as well as collision-induced mass spectra of this particular analogue. Fragmentation pathways were proposed based on fragments obtained. The optimized LC-HRMS method was then applied to confirm C-CTX1 in fish (Bodianus scrofa) caught in the Selvagens Islands (Portugal).
Key words: ciguatoxins, HRMS, Q-TOF, ciguatera poisoning, C-CTX1, fragmentation pathways