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An acute toxic syndrome with predominantly gastrointestinal and neuromuscular features induced by ingestion of the flesh or viscera of various marine fish of the Caribbean and tropic Pacific reefs that contain ciguatoxin. The lipid-soluble, heat-stable toxin is produced by the dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus toxicus, which is epiphytic on red and brown algae. Herbivorous fish foraging on reef algae consume the flagellates and are in turn consumed by carnivorous fish, the toxin becoming increasingly concentrated as it passes up the food chain. Some 400 species of fish have been associated with human intoxication. Symptoms come on 3-12 hours after exposure and include vomiting and diarrhea, myalgia, dysesthesia and paraesthesia of the extremities and perioral region, pruritus, headache, weakness, and diaphoresis. Toxic effects usually resolve spontaneously in about 1 week.
[Sp. fr. cigua, sea snail]
ciguatera/ci·gua·te·ra/ (se″gwah-ta´rah) a form of ichthyosarcotoxism, marked by gastrointestinal and neurologic symptoms due to ingestion of tropical or subtropical marine fish that have ciguatoxin in their tissues.
Poisoning caused by ingesting fish contaminated with ciguatoxin, characterized by gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms. Also called ciguatera fish poisoning, ciguatera poisoning.
a form of fish poisoning, marked by GI and neurological symptoms, caused by ingestion of tropical or subtropical marine fish, such as the barracuda, grouper, or snapper that have accumulated ciguatoxin in their tissues. Ciguatoxin is heat resistant and is not detoxified by cooking. This form of poisoning is often misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.
poisoning by consumption of the flesh or viscera of sporadically toxic tropical predatory fish of a wide range of species. The causative heat-stable toxins (ciguatoxin, maitotoxin and others) originate in the dinoflagellate (Gambierdiscus toxicus) and possibly others or from associated bacterial microflora. The toxins are subject to bioaccumulation in fish which eat the dinoflagellates, and subsequently in the predators. Growth of the dinoflagellates is promoted by the destruction of their coral reef habitat. Poisoning characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and paresis in cats, dogs, humans. See also lyngbya.