[Evaluation of Antilles fish ciguatoxicity by mouse and chick bioassays].Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2003 Mar; 96(1):24-8.BS
Ciguatera is a common seafood poisoning in Western Atlantic and French West Indies. Ciguatera fish poisoning in the Caribbean is a public health problem. A toxicological study was carried out on 178 Caribbean fish specimens (26 species) captured off Guadeloupe and Saint Barthelemy between 1993 and 1999. The mouse bioassay and the chick feeding test were used to control fish edibility. Ciguatoxins presence was assumed when symptomatology was typical of ciguatera in mouse and chick. Fishes were classified in three groups: non toxic fish (edible), low toxic fish (not edible) and toxic fish (not edible). 75% of fishes were non toxic. Toxic fish specimens belonged to four families of high trophic level carnivores: Carangidae, Lutjanidae, Serranidae et Sphyraenidae. Percentages of toxic fishes to humans reached 55% for Caranx latus and 33% for Caranx bartholomaei and Caranx lugubris. Only a significant correlation between weight and toxicity was only found for C. latus and snappers. Small carnivorous groupers (Serranidae) were also toxic. Atoxic fish species were (a) pelagic fish (Coryphaena hippurus, Auxis thazard and Euthynnus pelamis), (b) invertebrates feeders (Malacanthus plumieri, Balistes vetula), (c) small high-risk fish or (d) fish of edible benthic fish families. Liver of four fishes (Mycteroperca venenosa, Caranx bartholomaei, Seriola rivoliana, Gymnothorax funebris) contained ciguatoxins at a significant level although their flesh was safe. This study confirms the usefulness of mouse and chick bioassays for sanitary control of fish.