• Charybdis japonica;
  • crab;
  • hepatopancreas;
  • paralytic shellfish poisoning;
  • PSP;
  • regulation limit;
  • Telmessus acutidens

ABSTRACT:   The difference in paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) toxin accumulation in the crabs Telmessus acutidens and Charybdis japonica was investigated at Onahama, Fukushima Prefecture, from 2002 to 2005. The level of toxin accumulation in the hepatopancreas of T. acutidens corresponded to that of mussels when examined on a yearly basis. In 2003, some crabs had a high toxicity of approximately 1000 MU, which compares to one-third of the human minimum lethal dose. Therefore T. acutidens should be monitored as a vector species of PSP toxin. The toxin profile of T. acutidens was also investigated. Because an increase in highly toxic species of PSP toxins with a decrease in low toxic species, such as N-sulfocarbamoyl-11-hydroxysulfate toxins, was not clearly observed between consecutive samples, toxin transformation in T. acutidens was considered to have a minimal impact on toxicity. PSP toxins were also detected in several specimens of C. japonica, but the highest toxicity was only 7.4 MU/g in the hepatopancreas. Because C. japonica is widely distributed in the coastal waters of Japan, investigation of toxin accumulation in the crab should be continued, including its investigation in different areas of water from Onahama, where the causative dinoflagellates of PSP occur in different conditions.