Definitions for ciguateraˌsi gwəˈtɛr ə, ˌsɪg wə-
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ciguatera
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
ci•gua•te•raˌsi gwəˈtɛr ə, ˌsɪg wə-(n.)
a tropical disease caused by ingesting a poison found in certain marine fishes.
Origin of ciguatera:
1860-65; AmerSp <cigua sea snail
A foodborne poisoning in humans caused by eating marine species whose flesh is contaminated with ciguatoxin.
Ciguatera is a foodborne illness caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with toxins originally produced by dinoflagellates such as Gambierdiscus toxicus which live in tropical and subtropical waters. These dinoflagellates adhere to coral, algae and seaweed, where they are eaten by herbivorous fish who in turn are eaten by larger carnivorous fish. In this way the toxins move up the food chain and bioaccumulate. Gambierdiscus toxicus is the primary dinoflagellate responsible for the production of a number of similar toxins that cause ciguatera. These toxins include ciguatoxin, maitotoxin, scaritoxin and palytoxin. Predator species near the top of the food chain in tropical and subtropical waters, such as barracudas, snapper, moray eels, parrotfishes, groupers, triggerfishes and amberjacks, are most likely to cause ciguatera poisoning, although many other species cause occasional outbreaks of toxicity. Ciguatoxin is odourless, tasteless and very heat-resistant, so ciguatoxin-laden fish cannot be detoxified by conventional cooking. Researchers suggest that ciguatera outbreaks caused by cooling climatic conditions propelled the migratory voyages of Polynesians between 1000 and 1400.
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