A grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus), a grouper (Serranidae) and a black jack (Caranx lugubris) were implicated in three different ciguatera poisonings in Guadeloupe, French West Indies. A mouse bioassay indicated toxicity for each specimens: 0.5-1, > or = 1 and > 1 MUg g(-1), respectively. After purification by gel filtration chromatography, the samples were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The toxin profiles differ from one fish to another. C-CTX-1 was detected at 0.24, 0.90 and 13.8 ng g(-1) flesh in the snapper, grouper and jack, respectively. It contributed only to part of the whole toxicity determined by the mouse bioassay. Other toxins identified were C-CTX-2 (a C-CTX-1 epimer), three additional isomers of C-CTX-1 or-2, and five ciguatoxin congeners (C-CTX-1127, C-CTX-1143 and its isomer C-CTX-1143a, and C-CTX-1157 and its isomer C-CTX-1157b). Putative hydroxy-polyether-like compounds were also detected in the flesh of the grouper with [M+ + H]+ ions at m/z 851.51, 857.50, 875.51, 875.49 and 895.54 Da. Some of these compounds have the same mass range as some known dinoflagellate toxins. In conclusion, this study confirms the usefulness of LC-MS analysis to determine the ciguatoxins levels and the toxin profile in fish flesh hazardous to humans.