Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is a naturally occurring toxin in food, especially in puffer fish. TTX poisoning is observed frequently in South East Asian regions. In TTX-derived food poisoning outbreaks, the amount of TTX recovered from suspicious fish samples or leftovers, and residual levels from biological fluids of victims are typically trace. However, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry methods have been demonstrated to qualitatively and quantitatively determine TTX in clinical samples from victims. Identification and validation of the TTX-originating seafood species responsible for a food poisoning incident is needed. A polymerase chain reaction-based method on mitochondrial DNA analysis is useful for identification of fish species. This review aims to collect pertinent information available on TTX-borne food poisoning incidents with a special emphasis on the analytical methods employed for TTX detection in clinical laboratories as well as for the identification of TTX-bearing species. © 2015, Food and Drug Administration, Taiwan. Published by Elsevier Taiwan LLC.

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