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WikiProject Medicine / Toxicology (Rated C-class, Low-importance)
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Should this be merged with Ciguatera_fish_poisoning? startaq 00:53, 2005 May 22 (UTC)

FYI ... this was mentioned on the House episode April 10, 2007. Pgrote 03:48, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Also mentioned on Slashdot today at 14:32, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

It also turned up in the news in Feb 2008: Several outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning have been confirmed... The first case in this report appears to have been Nov 2007. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)


Could some please clarify what the cause of this disease is. The first line states that the cause is ingesting a toxin (Ciguatoxin), but the article goes on to say that the disease can be tramsitted sexually and can persist for up to 20 years (both of these would usually imply that the disease is pathogenic). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Holshy (talkcontribs) 14:53, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Does it make more sense now? What's transmitted through body fluids is just the toxin itself. I believe that the long-term effects are due to the damage that it does, not because individual toxin molecules persist in the body for 20 years. (If, for example, it killed a nerve cell, you would expect that damage to be permanent, even if the nerve-cell-killing toxin went away the next day.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:42, 6 February 2008 (UTC)
I had the same reaction. I gather from the article that the disease is neither virus nor bacteria, but instead is some kind of toxin. The lede seems to indicate there are multiple toxins, but how they are created and how they transfer from coral reef to herbivorous to carnivorous fish, and how the process of being transferred is "magnifying" when you'd think the toxin(s) (whatever they are) would be diluted as it was transferred. And why doesn't it kill the fish?Jonny Quick (talk) 04:32, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
There is a link to the main toxin (ciguatoxin) involved in the condition further down the page. The science on why fish aren't harmed by the toxins isn't clear, although given that the toxin has an affinity for only certain Nav subtypes, it's possible that fish simply do not possess these channels. I don't know, and haven't ever looked. As for the 'transferring' of the toxin, it is produced by dinoflagellates. These are microscopic sea organisms, which are eaten by small fish. Each of these fish would eat tens or hundreds of thousands of these dinoflagellates over their lifetimes. Bigger fish eat the smaller fish. This process is repeated several times with bigger and bigger fish. The toxin isn't diluted, per se, since the larger fish regularly eat smaller fish, which have in turn eaten plenty of smaller ones. The toxin is hugely lipophilic, so takes enormous amounts of time for the body (both human and fish) to clear, hence why it stays around long enough to accumulate in fish, and why is causes such lasting symptoms in humans. Keep in mind we are talking toxic (symptomatic) ingested doses usually measured in nano- and micrograms. Absolutely tiny amounts. Veni Vidi Vici (talk) 14:38, 26 May 2016 (UTC)

Origin of the Name[edit]

I agree, please take it out. What Englishman would say that his fish came from the Seawater, when Cuba only has Ocean water? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:34, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Wow. Get a dictionary and look up seawater. Or better yet go to the Wikipedia article on seawater. Seawater means water from the sea or ocean. No one says oceanwater. In fact, that word doesn't even exist. It's common knowledge that the word "seawater" is used to refer to liquid coming from any large body of water. ESPECIALLY in the 19th century and ESPECIALLY Englishmen would use seawater to describe ocean water. Please don't write nonsense to support your opinion. Mbenzdabest (talk) 15:45, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Origin of the Name[edit]

See this document

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Annual Review of Medicine Vol. 33: 97-111 (Volume publication date February 1982) (doi:10.1146/ N W Withers

This attributes the name to the "cigua" or turban shell, in the Spanish Antilles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:44, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

The "seawater" etymology is extremely fishy. The Spanish pronunciation of ciguatera does sound a fair bit like seawater, but if the Cubans were transliterating from English to Spanish, why put in the g or the final a? ciuater or siuater would be closer. Dictionaries and reference books give the completely plausible derivation from cigua, which exists and can cause the symptoms. This sounds like another completely bogus folk etymology. I say take it out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

First of all, remember that you have a bunch of non-English-speaking Cuban people standing around listening to Englishmen describing the disease and all they can make out is something that sounds like "seawater." They aren't interested in the syntax and orthography of the words they are hearing. Why put the "g"? Because when you are listening to a foreign language and you are transliterating, you adapt it to your own. Duh. The "gua" usage is extremely common when separating a vowel and a diphthong in Spanish. And why add the "a" at the end? In Spanish, words ending in "-tera" are common for describing new words that come from older words. "Café" means coffee and "cafetera" means coffee maker; "Mosquito" means mosquito and "mosquitera" means mosquito net, etc. So it makes perfect sense. I agree that it shouldn't be in the article if there is no verified source. But please don't use stupid reasoning to take it out when you have no idea what you're talking about. Mbenzdabest (talk) 15:52, 19 May 2012 (UTC)

Use of Mannitol[edit]

Please forgive formatting, protocol or etiquette mistakes as this is my first post. Feel free to correct any mistakes or make suggestions to me. thanks.

In the mannitol section, there is a declarative statement that IV mannitol is no longer recommended in the treatment of ciguatera. This is just not true in the Atlantic/Caribbean/Bahamian area. Florida Poison Control/Aquatic Toxins Hotline staffers routinely provide IV Mannitol protocol information to ER Physicians and other medical practitioners in the treatment of Ciguatera within 72 hours of symptom onset. This information is often disseminated to physicians around the country.

Furthermore, the article cited that calls doubt on the efficacy of IV Mannitol is for the Pacific ciguatoxin (P-ctx), not all types of ctx. P-ctx is said to be more damaging than the ctx in the Atlantic according to many ciguatera experts (Dr. Donna Blythe, Larry Brand, PhD, Lora Fleming, MD, PhD, Melissa Friedman PhD, etc.) See article cited in this section Ciguatera fish poisoning: A double-blind randomized trial of mannitol therapy "Pacific ciguatoxin (P-CTX-1) has been shown in experimental animal studies to result in prolonged opening of both tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) and tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) voltage-gated sodium channels". Which can mean more damage. P-ctx can also be fatal while Atlantic ciguatera isn't known to be deadly.

So to say that IV mannitol is not recommended anymore because the author cited the finding of that one study on one type of ctx, isn't accurate. I think it is misleading and a potential liability to say that it is not recommended. I know of one pending law suit right now because a local boat captain did not receive IV Mannitol within the three day window because he was poorly advised. To be sure, IV Mannitol is controversial but physicians do recommended IV Mannitol to Ciguatera patients who are within the 72 hour window of exposure. Juju's Beans (talk) 20:43, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

Folk science detection[edit]

The section on folk science detection methods for ciguatera seems to me to be outright dangerous. In addition there is nothing scientific about those methods so even the name seems wrong. I propose at the very least calling it something along the lines of 'old wives tales', if not deleting the section altogether.

I am somewhat torn because I find reading about such stuff very interesting but the current iteration just isn't right. Any suggestions?

MFdeS (talk) 04:16, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Account and citation added from a personal narrative in a credible education magazine, 2010. Feel free to edit as required for style consistency - National Library of NZ. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:21, 10 August 2010 (UTC)