Monthly variation of Tetrodotoxin levels in pufferfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus) caught from Antalya Bay, Mediterranean Sea

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Köşker A. R., Karakus M., Katıkou P., Dal İ., Durmuş M., Uçar Y., ...More

MARINE DRUGS, vol.21, no.10, pp.1-15, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 21 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/md21100527
  • Journal Name: MARINE DRUGS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Environment Index, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-15
  • Çukurova University Affiliated: Yes


The silver-cheeked toadfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus), an invasive alien pufferfish species that has rapidly settled throughout the Mediterranean region, poses significant threats not only to native marine species and fisheries but also to public health due to the tetrodotoxin (TTX) they harbor. In this study, TTX concentrations in L. sceleratus from Antalya Bay in the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea were investigated using Q-TOF-LC-MS on a monthly basis over a one-year period. Pufferfish were caught by angling from May 2018 to April 2019. The TTX levels in three different tissues (gonads, liver, and muscle) of 110 pufferfish in total were determined in both male and female individuals caught for 11 months. The highest TTX mean levels generally occurred in the gonads and the lowest in the muscle samples. As regards the maximum TTX contents, the highest concentrations determined were 68.2, 34.2, and 7.8 µg/g in the gonad, liver, and muscle tissues, respectively. The highest levels were generally observed in late autumn to winter (especially in November and December) in all tissues from both genders. Female individuals were generally found to be more toxic than male individuals. The TTX levels found confirm that the consumption of L. sceleratus from Antalya Bay remains dangerous throughout the year, and thus L. sceleratus constantly constitutes an important risk source for public health.