Detection of the pufferfish toxin tetrodotoxin in European bivalves, England, 2013 to 2014

Euro Surveill. 2015 Jan 15;20(2):21009. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.es2015.20.2.21009.


We report the first detection of tetrodotoxins (TTX) in European bivalve shellfish. We demonstrate that TTX is present within the temperate waters of the United Kingdom, along the English Channel, and can accumulate in filter-feeding molluscs. The toxin is heat-stable and thus it cannot be eliminated during cooking. While quantified concentrations were low in comparison to published minimum lethal doses for humans, the results demonstrate that the risk to shellfish consumers should not be discarded.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / chemistry*
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • England
  • Humans
  • Shellfish*
  • Tandem Mass Spectrometry
  • Tetraodontiformes
  • Tetrodotoxin / analysis*
  • Tetrodotoxin / toxicity*


  • Tetrodotoxin