2017 - International Conference on Molluscan Shellfish Safety, May 14-18 (ICMSS)

11th ICMSS Conference Workshops/Science Cafés
Friday May 19th, 2017

A number of workshops will be held on Friday and Saturday following the main conference, see overview below.  There is no additional charge, however, space is limited on some of the workshops and will be offered on a first booked basis.  Please indicate if you wish to atend a workshop when you register.

Please note when selecting which workshop to attend;

  • Virus testing – New approaches
  • Phytoplankton Microscope Session Café  
  • run parallel to each other.

  • Vibrios
  • LCMSMS technology Café 
  • run parallel to each other.

Virus testing – New approaches
Virus detection using real-time RT-PCR is a key diagnostic tool which is being used increasingly to characterise viral contamination in shellfish. The establishment of the ISO standard method (ISO 15216:2017) for the detection of norovirus and hepatitis A virus in shellfish has been a major development in this area. However, there are limitations associated with the methodology. These include the requirement of standards for accurate quantification and a failure to distinguish between infectious and non-infectious virus particles. In addition the method is restricted to specific virus target detection and provides no information on the diversity of viruses that may be present.   Advances in molecular diagnostics such as digital PCR and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) could provide more accurate quantification and improved profiling of norovirus diversity in shellfish. In addition, the recent breakthrough in norovirus cell culture opens up new and exciting avenues of exploration. This workshop will include presentations on each of these areas and will provide a forum for discussion on how they can be applied to further enhance our understanding of virus contamination in shellfish.

Phytoplankton monitoring tools workshop
Phytoplankton monitoring is an integral part of the National Marine Biotoxins programme in Ireland. Monitoring of harmful/toxic species is essential for the early warning of harmful algal and toxic events around shellfish production areas and the intoxication of bivalves going for human consumption. Phytoplankton is also an indicator of biodiversity, food webs and Eutrophication. It gives us data on the temporal and spatial distribution of harmful/toxic algae, composition and frequency of bloom occurrence and over time phytoplankton trends which can be used to assess the ecological status of our coastal and marine habitats.  Also, phytoplankton monitoring is a tool that could potentially be used to interrogate new and novel species producing not legislated toxin compounds and become the reference method for biotoxins. Phytoplankton monitoring is developing and changing fast in the last decade and multi-tool monitoring programmes will be needed in the future to fully capture the complexity of the type and diversity of species, toxins and effects produced by phytoplankton. In this workshop, we will look at the traditional microscopy methods as the solid foundation to the monitoring of phytoplankton biodiversity, the integration of other confirmatory monitoring tools to supplement species identification (qPCR).  How a small culture collection can help investigation of phytoplankton species, as a training, repository tool and how it can help support other research programmes. Also, we will look at new developments and ground breaking technologies that can potentially be very useful in the phytoplankton laboratory in the years ahead.

Emerging Trends in Vibriosis and Risk Management
Vibriosis associated with consumption of raw bivalve mollusks, especially Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vp), has expanded geographically for two decades. Vp risk appears to be driven by the emergence and introduction of outbreaks strains that appear to infect at lower doses than resident pathogenic strains. Contrary to current risk models and tools that base risk on exposure to pathogenic Vp, there is a growing body of evidence indicating an inverse relationship between exposure and risk when comparing Vp levels in shellfish from warmer and cooler regions. However, risk within a region appears to be related to exposure driven either by either higher levels at harvest or by post-harvest growth during the warmest periods as predicted by current models. The greatest threat appears when an outbreak strains invades higher latitudes during climate anomalies such as occurred in Chile and Alaska. Emerging risk management approaches based vibrio forecasting tools, pre-harvest movement of shellfish to cooler or more saline waters and cold chain confirmation using time/temperature indicators will be presented. A round table will examine questions on acceptable risk in different countries, triggers of regulatory action, use of risk tools and risk forecasts and effectiveness of controls.

LC-MS/MS Science Café
LC-MS/MS is the method of choice for the analysis of marine toxins. Legislation requires LC-MS/MS to be used for the analysis of lipophilic toxins but increasingly laboratories that are involved in the routine testing of shellfish are also using LC-MS/MS for other regulated toxins such as Domoic acid, more recently Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning toxins and emerging toxins. This LC-MS/MS café will be an open discussion on LC-MS/MS analysis of marine toxins and related topic. This will be an opportunity to discuss some of the challenges you encounter and also assist others with solution that you have come up with to everyday problems. This will be followed by short presentations from a number of the leading LC-MS/MS manufactures on resent advancements in the area of LC-MS/MS. This will be an efficient opportunity to update yourself as to what the market currently offers and the capabilities of these new advancements.  

Regulation – Respecting the Science?
Consumer safety, resource protection, quality of shellfish and international trade are just some of the issues where regulation impacts and shapes the catching and growing of live bivalve molluscs. While some issues are well understood and have been addressed in the legislation of various jurisdictions (including at the international level), other issues are still regarded as emergent. Through a series of short presentations and a facilitated debate, this workshop will look at the interface between science and regulation and consider the nature of the relationship, the existence of shared or divergent goals and what drives different stakeholders. The objective will be to critically examine whether each element serves the interest of the other, or hinders progress.