Imported tropical fish causes ciguatera fish poisoning in Germany

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Zimmermann K, Eisenblätter A, Vetter I, Ebbecke M, Friedemann M, Desel H
Journal: Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift
Publication year: 2015
Volume: 140
Journal issue: 2
Pages range: 125-30
ISSN: 0012-0472
eISSN: 1439-4413


Ciguatera is a seafood-borne illness caused by consumption of tropical fish contaminated with ciguatoxins, lipophilic polyethers that are produced in benthic dinoflagellates and accumulate through the marine food chain. Ciguatera cases in Europe usually occur in travellers returning from tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific and Carribean, where ciguatera is endemic. In 2012, several cases of ciguatera occurred in Germany due to sale of contaminated fish products originating from the Indian Ocean. Although the symptomatology in these cases were typical of ciguatera, with patients reporting gastrointestinal discomfort including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea as well as neurological effects including widespread intense pruritus, paresthesias, hypothermia or altered temperature sensation and diffuse pain, correct diagnosis was delayed in all cases due to lack of awareness of the treating medical practitioners. In light of increasing global mobility, trade, and occurrence of ciguatoxic fish in previously non-endemic areas, ciguatera should be considered as a possible diagnosis if gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms occur shortly after consumption of fish.

FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Schöniger, Anneka
Radiologisches Institut
Zimmermann, Katharina Prof. Dr. med.
Heisenbergprofessur für Experimentelle Schmerzforschung

External institutions with authors

Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR)
Universitätsklinikum Göttingen
University of Queensland

How to cite

Zimmermann, K., Eisenblätter, A., Vetter, I., Ebbecke, M., Friedemann, M., & Desel, H. (2015). Imported tropical fish causes ciguatera fish poisoning in Germany. Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 140(2), 125-30.

Zimmermann, Katharina, et al. "Imported tropical fish causes ciguatera fish poisoning in Germany." Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift 140.2 (2015): 125-30.


Last updated on 2019-01-08 at 14:02