Shellfish Poisoning


Shellfish poisoning is the illness or death of humans, and other mammals and seabirds, caused by the consumption of shellfish that have been contaminated by eating toxin‐producing microscopic algal species during harmful algal blooms (HABs).

Keywords: harmful algal blooms; toxins; dinoflagellates; diatoms; red tide


Association of Official Analytical Chemistry (AOAC) (1980) Paralytical shellfish poison biological method. In: Official Methods of Analysis, 13th edn. Washington, DC, pp. 298–299.

Hallegraeff G, Anderson DM, Cembella AD and Enevolsen HO (eds) (1995) Manual on Harmful Marine Algae. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Manuals and Guides 33. Paris: UNESCO.

Premazzi G and Volterra L (1993) Microphyte Toxins. A manual for toxin detection, environmental monitoring and therapies to counteract intoxications. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.

Further Reading

Botana LM (ed) (2000) Seafood and Freshwater Toxins. Pharmacology, Physiology and Detection. New York, Basel: Marcel Dekker.

Daranas AH, Norte M and Fernandez JJ (2001) Toxic marine microalgae, a review. Toxicon 39: 1101–1132.

Hall S and Strichartz G (eds) (1990) Marine toxins: origin, structure and molecular pharmacology. ACS Symposium Series 418.

Hallegraeff G (1993) A review of harmful algal blooms and their apparent increase. Phycologia 32: 79–99.

Plumley FG (1997) Marine algal toxins: biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology. Limnology and Oceanography 42: 152–164.

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How to Cite close
Taylor, FJR Max(Mar 2004) Shellfish Poisoning. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0001936]