Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a food-borne illness due to the consumption of reef fish containing pathogenic toxins. CFP is endemic to tropical areas and may be described in travelers in non-endemic areas.
We describe two clusters of autochthonous cases of CFP in Paris, France. They were related to two fish caught in Guadeloupe (French West Indies) and consumed in Paris after being air-transported in a cooler. In both cases, fish flesh was analyzed and the presence of ciguatoxins by mouse bioassay (MBA) was confirmed.
The first cluster involved eight individuals among whom five presented gastrointestinal symptoms and four presented neurological symptoms after consuming barracuda flesh (Sphyraena barracuda). The second cluster involved a couple who consumed a grey snapper (Lutjanus griseus). Most of them consulted at different emergency departments in the region of Paris.
CFP may be seen in non-traveler patients outside endemic countries resulting from imported species of fish. Thus, CFP may be undiagnosed as physicians are not aware of this tropical disease outside endemic countries. The detection of ciguatoxins by MBA in the French National Reference Laboratory is useful in the confirmation of the diagnosis.