Shellfish toxicity: human health implications of marine algal toxins

Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Jul;138(7):927-40. doi: 10.1017/S0950268810000853. Epub 2010 Apr 23.


Five major human toxic syndromes caused by the consumption of shellfish contaminated by algal toxins are presented. The increased risks to humans of shellfish toxicity from the prevalence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) may be a consequence of large-scale ecological changes from anthropogenic activities, especially increased eutrophication, marine transport and aquaculture, and global climate change. Improvements in toxin detection methods and increased toxin surveillance programmes are positive developments in limiting human exposure to shellfish toxins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bivalvia / microbiology*
  • Disease Vectors
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Eukaryota / pathogenicity*
  • Harmful Algal Bloom
  • Humans
  • Marine Toxins / analysis
  • Marine Toxins / toxicity*
  • Seawater / chemistry
  • Shellfish Poisoning / epidemiology*
  • Spiro Compounds / toxicity


  • Marine Toxins
  • Spiro Compounds
  • azaspiracid