Safe New Zealand Seafood (SNZS) Oct 2013

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1 Safe New Zealand Seafood (SNZS) Oct 2013

2 CAWTHRON INSTITUTE Located in Nelson New Zealand's largest independent science organisation 200 scientists, laboratory technicians, researchers & specialist staff Offer a broad spectrum of services to help protect the environment and support sustainable development of primary industries

3 FOOD SAFETY Primary production and exports are the backbone of New Zealand's economy

4 FOOD SAFETY - DAIRY Primary production and exports are the backbone of New Zealand's economy - Rush to find extent of NZ melamine contamination 25/09/2008 NZPA - DCD-tainted milk products sold in NZ 22/02/2013 Fairfax NZ News - Botulism alert: Infant formula, sports drinks at risk 03/08/2013 Fairfax NZ News

5 FOOD SAFETY - SEAFOOD

6 FOOD SAFETY - SEAFOOD

7 FOOD SAFETY - SEAFOOD $23m AUD

8 SAFE NZ SEAFOOD PROGRAMME WHAT IS IT? MBIE funded research programme ($2.3 m/yr for 7 years) Clear goal is to ensure that NZ seafood is safe to consume and meets market requirements Assess pre- and post-harvest risks from micro-organisms Cawthron-led, and involves other leading NZ scientists

9 SAFE NZ SEAFOOD PROGRAMME GUIDANCE Industry Advisory Group (MBIE require >1 meeting annually) Stakeholders include commercial organizations, regulatory agencies, industry bodies and independent experts Used to focus research priorities on seafood sector needs and benefit Other forums (SeaFIC shellfish safety workshops, P&FR aq meetings)

10 SAFE NZ SEAFOOD PROGRAMME SCIENCE AREAS Harmful algal bloom technologies Marine toxin chemistry and toxicology Virus monitoring and infectivity Bacterial contamination

11 SAFE NZ SEAFOOD PROGRAMME SCIENCE AREAS Harmful algal bloom technologies Marine toxin chemistry and toxicology Virus monitoring and infectivity Bacterial contamination

12 1. HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM TECHNOLOGIES Predict and mitigate HAB risks - bloom simulation model to provide near real-time forecasting capability Develop molecular tools for rapid detection and quantification of HABs - target biotoxin marker genes (qpcr/ngs) - move towards field deployable tools - field-trial using in situ ESP

13 2. CHEMISTRY & TOXICOLOGY Faster, more cost effective monitoring of PSP toxins New test methods for new/emerging marine toxins (ciguatera fish poisoning) Determine fate of toxins in seafood to better manage toxin events Determine toxicity of marine toxins to support appropriate regulation

14 3. VIRUS MONITORING AND INFECTIVITY Norovirus is the leading cause of foodborne illness globally More research needed to understand norovirus infectivity Develop and trial new tools for capture and monitoring of viruses Identify sources and factors influencing viral contamination - 2 commercial NZ oyster growing areas investigated Enquiries:

15 4. BACTERIAL CONTAMINATION Post-harvest contamination represents major risk to industry Molecular methods will be developed to ensure industry access to cuttingedge monitoring techniques Probe genetic basis for Listeria persistence Develop novel strategies to solve persistent Listeria problems Assess how environmental adaptations can affect Vibrio vulnificus biotypes Enquiries:

16 MICROBIAL SOURCE TRACKING (MST) NEW! Goal better, faster, cheaper ways to determine bacterial contamination Host specific FIB can be used to identify contamination sources in catchments Determine where the contamination comes from ( vs ) and pathogen risk New technology to improve speed & cost of testing (E. coli TAT 48hrs aim 2) 2 areas used for virus monitoring will also be used for MST development

17 SUCCESS #1 PARALYTIC SHELLFISH TOXINS Recurrent annual blooms of the Alexandrium catenella in Marlborough Sounds Result in harvest closures Photo credit: Lincoln MacKenzie

18 SUCCESS #2 PINNATOXINS Found in Northland oysters & caused recurrent harvesting closures (MBA) even though no human illnesses reported Cyclic imines fast acting toxins Microalgal producer identified as benthic dinoflagellate Vulcanodinium rugosum (now found globally e.g. Japan, Australia, France, China) Toxicological information generated as part of SNZS programme ensured that no regulations have been imposed on toxin class Portimine - not acutely toxic but displays interesting in vitro cytotoxicity* *Selwood, A.I. et al. (2013). Tetrahedron Lett. 54(35),

19 SUCCESS #3 PALYTOXIN (PLTX) Ostreopsis sp produce PLTX and related compounds Causes respiratory illnesses in Med and PLTX found in shellfish Recently observed in coastal waters around Northland PLTX extremely toxic via ip route but is much less toxic orally EFSA may add PLTX to the list of regulated biotoxins Analytical methods needed for accurate quantitation Sensitive assay* developed at Cawthron (research and regulatory testing) *Selwood, A.I. et al. (2012). Toxicon 60(5)

20 SUCCESS #4 TETRODOTOXIN Causative toxin for dog deaths on Auckland beaches Cawthron scientists identified elevated TTX levels in grey sided-gilled sea slug Toxin source still unclear Observed in pipi Is a seafood safety risk from humans eating TTX-contaminated seafood

21 CONCLUSIONS NZ produces high quality, high value seafood for global markets Important to maintain access to these lucrative markets Long term government funding secured to help achieve this SNZS programme has a history of producing excellent research Best team assembled to address NZ specific issues Involvement of key stakeholders critical to ongoing success

22 16th International Conference on Harmful Algae October - Wellington

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