Nodularin (NODLN) is a cyanobacterial hepatotoxin that may cause toxic effects at very low exposure levels. The NODLN-producing cyanobacterium Nodularia spumigena forms massive blooms in the northern Baltic Sea, especially during the summer. We analyzed liver and muscle (edible meat) samples from common eider (Somateria mollissima), roach (Rutilus rutilus L.), and flounder (Platichthys flesus L.) for NODLN-R by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Thirty eiders, 11 roach, and 15 flounders were caught from the western Gulf of Finland between September 2002 and October 2004. Eiders from April to June 2003 were found dead. The majority of samples were analyzed by LC-MS and ELISA from the same sample extracts (water:methanol:n-butanol, 75:20:5, v:v:v). Nodularin was detected in 27 eiders, nine roach, and eight flounders. Eider liver samples contained NODLN up to approximately 200 μg/kg dry weight and muscle samples at approximately 20 μg/kg dry weight, roach liver samples 20 to 900 μg NODLN/kg dry weight and muscle samples 2 to 200 μg NODLN/kg dry weight, and flounder liver samples approximately 5 to 1,100 μg NODLN/kg dry weight and muscle samples up to 100 μg NODLN/kg dry weight. The NODLN concentrations found in individual muscle samples of flounders, eiders, and roach (1-200 μg NODLN/kg dry wt) indicate that screening and risk assessment of NODLN in Baltic Sea edible fish and wildlife are required for the protection of consumer's health.
- Eider fish