Ciguatera (CFP –Ciguatera Fish Poisoning) is a food-borne disease linked to consumption of fish harbouring ciguatoxins (CTXs). These compounds are potent neurotoxins produced by benthic microalgae typical of tropical and subtropical regions, pertaining to the genus Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa (dinoflagellates). CTXs enter the marine food-web through herbivorous fish that feed on seaweeds where the dinoflagellates grow settled on. CTXs are then transferred and bioaccumulated along the food webs, reaching top predators and humans.
The symptoms associated with CFP are diverse, having an onset of about 2 to 30 hours after consumption of contaminated fish. These symptoms can last for weeks or months. The most characteristic symptom of CFP is the inversion of thermal perception.
Other symptoms associated with CFP are:
- Diarrhea, nausea, vomits and abdominal pain;
- Headaches, articular and muscular pain;
- Paresthesia, pruritus and dizziness;
- Bradicardia and hipotension;
- Numbness, fatigue, shivering, abundant transpiration, cramps.