Brevetoxin - Seafood and Aquatic Life

Laboratory Fee Schedule
Procedure: MZZ0378A


Mouse Bioassay; Red Tide

Requisition Form

Program provides their own form

Test Description

Neurotoxic Shellfish Poisoning (NSP) is caused by the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. Red tide, a reddish discoloration of sea waters caused by the presence of enormous number of Karenia brevis algal cells, kills fish and causes respiratory, eye, nose and throat irritation for humans. The red tide toxin, brevetoxin, accumulates in filter-feeding shellfish like oysters and clams. The amount of brevetoxin is analyzed using a mouse bioassay, and this information is used as a measure for suitability of direct market harvesting of oysters from a particular oyster harvesting area.

Pre-Approval Needed


Supplemental Information Required


Supplemental Form(s)


Performed on Specimens from (sources)

Oyster Samples

Sample/Specimen Type for Testing

Oyster Samples (Shucked or Shellstock)

Minimum Volume/Size Required

  • Approximately 12 animals
  • Approximately 100 grams

Storage/Preservation Prior to Shipping

  • Shellstock are collected and shucked by the regulatory agency in this method. Before freezing the samples for transport to the lab, the oysters are drained of their liquids prior to freezing. The frozen oyster samples are shipped in clean, waterproof, puncture-resistant containers and shipped to the laboratory frozen in coolers containing ice.
  • After arrival samples are kept frozen until the day before testing begins. The day before testing begins, the samples are thawed overnight in a refrigerator between 0°C and 5°C and tested in the morning. If the samples need to be rapidly thawed out, place samples at room temperature until they are ready for processing.

Transport Medium


Specimen Labeling

Sample Identification must match submission form.

Shipping and Specimen Handling Requirements

  • Ship samples on Ice and/or Ice Packs.
  • Samples must be shipped for overnight delivery.
  • Ship according to Dangerous Good Regulations, IATA, and/or CFR 49.


Recommended Procedures for the Examination of Sea Water and Shellfish, 4th Edition, 1970. The American Public Health Association, Washington, D.C.

Turn-around Time

14 Days



Common Causes for Rejection

  • Insufficient specimen
  • Improperly stored
  • Failure to meet shipping guidelines


Additional Information