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|Symptoms, Treatment, Decontamination|
|Syndrome Name||Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning|
Note:Symptoms can be confused with other poisonings, including:
|Onset of Symptoms||Almost immediate.
Exposure by inhalation leads to extremely
rapid development of symptoms with death occurring
within minutes if not treated.
|Rapid diagnostic assay||None available|
|Supportive Care||Artificial respiration to support breathing|
|Inactivation||Inactivated by strong alkalis|
|Inhalation||<2 (in hamsters)|
|Solubility||Freely soluble in water and methanol.|
Limited solubility in ethanol and acetic acid.
Insoluble in lipid solvents
|pKa in water||8.24|
|Complete synthesis||Yes, but impractical.|
Note:Although saxitoxin is the most toxic member of the|
family, there are almost two dozen related compounds found in nature.
G. catenella has been cultured and cultures in an artificial sea water-like medium supplemented with some minerals and vitamins to give the toxin in good yield. Saxitoxin for research use is usually extracted from the siphons of clams contaminated by red tide.
Saxitoxin is toxic by ingestion and by inhalation, with inhalation leading to rapid respiratory collapse and death. Chemically, saxitoxin is stable, although it can be inactivated by treatment with strong alkali.
Saxitoxin has also been reported to have been tested as a coating for bullets. Apparently, it is stable enough to survive the hot gases of the detonation and significantly increased mortality.
|Toxic effect of fish &
shellfish eaten as food