Fish and Shellfish Poisoning

James M. Hughes, Michael H. Merson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vertebrate fish containing toxins capable of causing human illness are divided into three categories based on the location of the toxin.1 Ichthyosarcotoxic fish contain toxin in their musculature, viscera, skin or mucus and are responsible for most cases of fish poisoning. Ichthyo-otoxic fish have toxin in their gonads, and ichthyohemotoxic fish contain toxin in their blood; poisoning due to these fish is relatively rare. Of the nine types of ichthyosarcotoxism, ciguatera, scombroid and puffer-fish poisoning (tetrodotoxism) are the most common worldwide. Shellfish may cause paralysis (paralytic shellfish poisoning) if they contain toxin derived from the dinoflagellates Gonyaulax catenella or Go.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1120
Number of pages4
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 11 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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