Journal of IMAB - Annual Proceeding (Scientific Papers)
Publisher: Peytchinski, Gospodin Iliev ET
ISSN: 1312-773X (Online)
Issue: 2017, vol. 23, issue 1
Subject Area: Medicine
Pages: 1474-1479
DOI: 10.5272/jimab.2017231.1474
Published online: 21 February 2017

J of IMAB 2017 Jan-Mar;23(1):1474-1479
Snezha Zlateva1, Petko Marinov1, Marieta Yovcheva1, Georgi Bonchev1ORCID logo,Corresponding Autor, Dobri Ivanov2, Kaloyan Georgiev3,
1) Clinic for Intensive Treatment of Acute Intoxications and Toxicoallergies, Naval Hospital – Varna, Military Medical Academy, Bulgaria
2) Department of Biology, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University – Varna, Bulgaria
3) Department of Pharmaceutical Technologies, Faculty of Pharmacy, Medical University – Varna, Bulgaria.

Purpose: The review is provoked because of lack of awareness of the medical practitioners in Bulgaria concerning of the ethnology, pathogenesis, clinical symptoms and treatment of the ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP). This can be a source of prolonged diagnostic delays, as some cases reporting in another country in Europe, for example Germany, Spain and UK. Varna is the sea town with many sailor crews returning from tropical and subtropical regions, or CFP can affect people who travel to the Pacific and Caribbean or ate exotic fish from supermarket. The information of this fish food-borne poisoning is part of student’s education in discipline “Marine medicine” in Medical University, Varna.
Materials and methods: To present better information from different authors and last scientific data, we made review of published materials of 58 issues to construct definition, history, etiology, pathogenesis (toxins and mechanisms of action), clinical symptoms, treatment and prevention of the Ciguatera or ichtyosarcotoxicosis, a wide spread food-born poisoning. Results: Ciguatera poisoning is ichtyosarcotoxicosis, a wide-spread foodborne poisoning in people after consumption of flesh of different kinds of fishes in which toxins produced by poisonous microorganisms (Dinoflagellates) have accumulated. The poisoning develops by accumulating toxins higher up the food chain starting with toxin producing dinoflagellates (species: Gambierdiscus toxicus, Prorocentrum concavum, Pr. lima, Ostreoposis lenticularis, Ostr. Siamensis and others), continuing with the poisoned algae (species: Portieria, Halymenia, Turbinaria, Sargassum), and after that involving small crustacea and small fishes to greater fishes (vector fishes, genus Herbivores and Carnivores), in which the toxins have been stored in amount, great enough to cause foodborne poisoning in humans. This poisoning is widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, but because of its delayed toxic effects, lasting for months and years, there is a possibility that every medic can encounter its unusual symptoms, requiring specific treatment. The following toxins cause the poisoning: ciguatoxin, meitotoxin, ostreotoxin, domoic acid and some other unspecified toxins. They are lipid soluble, thermo stable and cannot be decomposed by culinary processing. These toxins have neurotoxic, cardiotoxic, hemolytic properties and cause diarrheic syndrome. Clinical presentation is characterized by average latent period of 12 hours after the consummation, vomiting and diarrhea next 24 hours and neurological symptoms that appear at the beginning of the poisoning with paresthesias along the body, changing feeling of hot and cold, strong myalgia. Disturbances in cardiac rhythm and conduction, strong dehydration or shock are possible in severe cases. Light cases pass over in several days, but, more often the poisoning has a chronic course – from 3-4 months to 1 year, with prevalence of neurologic symptoms: myalgia, paresthesias, skin itching with scratches, depression. The management is not specific and includes stomach lavage with activated charcoal, fluids replacement during the first 24 hours, corticosteroids, antiallergics, high doses of vitamins from group B (Vit. B1, Vit. B6, Vit. B12), mannitol IV, nootropic medicaments, antidepressants and other symptomatic medicaments. The prophylaxis is done by examining every fish with specific test for detecting ciguateratoxin.

Key words: ichtyosarcotoxicosis, dinoflagellates, ciguatoxin, meitotoxin, domoic acid, ciguatera poisoning,

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Please cite this article in PubMed Style or AMA (American Medical Association) Style:
Zlateva S, Marinov P, Yovcheva M, Bonchev G, Ivanov D, Georgiev K. CIGUATERA POISONING: Pacific disease, foodborne poisoning from fish in warm seas and oceans. Review. J of IMAB. 2017 Jan-Mar;23(1):1474-1479. DOI: 10.5272/jimab.2017231.1474.

Correspondence to: Georgi Bonchev, PhD; Head, Laboratory of Analytical Toxicology, Military Medical Academy, Naval Hospital – Varna; 3, Hristo Smirnenski Blvd., 9010 Varna, Bulgaria; E-mail:

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Received: 01 September 2016
Published online: 21 February 2017

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