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Your Environment. Your Health.

University of Washington

A novel antibody based biomarker for toxicity of chronic domoic acid exposure

David Marcinek, Ph.D.

NIEHS Grant: R01ES021930

Investigators from the University of Washington are developing a biomarker that would indicate the length of exposure and neurotoxic effects of domoic acid, which is produced during harmful algal blooms (HABs) and can contaminate seafood. Little is known about the effects of low-level exposure, in part because of the need for a biomarker that scientists can use to access disease and exposure risks. Once the researchers validate their biomarker, they will link it to quantifiable subclinical neurotoxicological endpoints and quantify the effects of chronic exposure on overall whole animal toxin susceptibility in a mouse model. This step towards a diagnostic test for assessing health impacts of chronic low-level domoic acid exposure will be an important tool for monitoring changes in exposure risks associated with changing ocean conditions.

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