Toxinology fact sheets

Fungal toxins

  • Ergot fungi and their poisons
  • The enniatin complex

Algal toxins

  • Azaspiracids
  • Okadaic acid & Dinophysis toxins
  • Yessotoxins

Cyanobacterial toxins

  • Microcystins
  • Nodularins
  • Anatoxin

Plant toxins

  • Bog asphodel

Food allergens

  • Celery allergens
  • Cereal allergens and gluten
  • Crustacean allergens
  • Egg allergens
  • Fish allergens
  • Lupin allergens

Toxinology is the area of science that deals with natural toxins (biotoxins) such as mycotoxins and other fungal toxins, toxins from marine and freshwater algae (phycotoxins), bacterial toxins (bacteriotoxins), plant toxins (phytotoxins) and animal toxins and venoms (zootoxins), including their chemistry, mode of action and ecological roles.

The Toxinology Group at the Norwegian Veterinary Institute's Section for Chemistry and Toxicology is a research group comprising scientists with background in chemistry, biochemistry, veterinary medicine and biology. Being such an uniqe assemblage of scientists allows us to approach research topics in a multidisciplinary manner. Thus, we are able to isolate, purify and chemically characterise almost any biomolecule from living organisms, develop quantitative assays for that molecule, study its biological effects and determine its biotransformation pathways in animals and humans.

Our principal aim is to contribute with our studies to food and feed hazard characterisations and risk assessments, i.e. to give estimates on the probability of an adverse health effect occurring due to the presence of natural contaminations in food and feed. Thus, we are committed to increase food and feed safety, which is defined as the assurance that food (and feed) will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use (FAO 1997).

Besides this, part of our research is focused on more basal topics that may increase the general knowledge on  the chemistry of natural toxins, their biological effects and ecological roles. Examples are the participation in projects that aim to clarify mechanisms of natural toxin biosynthesis or exploring the chemical diversity of a group of toxins within a species. 

Toxinology research group capabilities