Illnesses caused by marine toxins

Jeremy Sobel, John Painter
Clinical Infectious Diseases 2005 November 1, 41 (9): 1290-6
Marine toxins are produced by algae or bacteria and are concentrated in contaminated seafood. Substantial increases in seafood consumption in recent years, together with globalization of the seafood trade, have increased potential exposure to these agents. Marine toxins produce neurological, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular syndromes, some of which result in high mortality and long-term morbidity. Routine clinical diagnostic tests are not available for these toxins; diagnosis is based on clinical presentation and a history of eating seafood in the preceding 24 h. There is no antidote for any of the marine toxins, and supportive care is the mainstay of treatment. In particular, paralytic shellfish poisoning and puffer fish poisoning can cause death within hours after consuming the toxins and may require immediate intensive care. Rapid notification of public health authorities is essential, because timely investigation may identify the source of contaminated seafood and prevent additional illnesses. Extensive environmental monitoring and sometimes seasonal quarantine of a harvest are employed to reduce the risk of exposure.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.