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Term Ciguatera fish poisoning
Definition

Food poisoning in humans caused by the ingestion of certain reef fish whose flesh has been contaminated by toxins originally produced by dinoflagellates (phytoplankton) that live in tropical and subtropical waters. Dinoflagellates are attached to seaweed and corals that are ingested by herbivorous fish, which in turn are eaten by larger carnivorous fish. Thus, toxins climb the food chain and suffer bioaccumulation.

Gambierdiscus toxicus is the dinoflagellate most responsible for the production of a range of toxins that cause ciguatera. The top-level predatory fish in the food chain living in coral reefs, such as barracudas, snappers, moray eels, parrotfish, grouper and amberjack are the most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning, although many other species cause occasional outbreaks of toxicity.

Ciguatera outbreaks are common in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the south coast of the United States and some islands of the Indo-Pacific region and Hawaii. The disease causes gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neurological and skeletal muscle problems.

Ciguatoxin is highly resistant to heat and its toxins cannot be metabolized through conventional cooking.
 


Additional Information
PhotoPeces comĂșnmente implicados en el envenenamiento por ciguatera en el Caribe
Topic  Resources coastal / marine