Lethal Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning in Guatemala

Daniel C. RodrigueCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Daniel C. Rodrigue in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Ruth A. EtzelCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Ruth A. Etzel in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Sherwood HallCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Sherwood Hall in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Eugenia de PorrasCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Eugenia de Porras in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Otto H. VelasquezCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Otto H. Velasquez in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Robert V. TauxeCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Robert V. Tauxe in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Edward M. KilbourneCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Edward M. Kilbourne in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Paul A. BlakeCenter for Infectious Diseases and Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, Laboratorio Unificado de Control de Alimentos y Medicamentos, Guatemala Ministry of Health, Atlanta, Georgia, Guatemala

Search for other papers by Paul A. Blake in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

An outbreak of paralytic shellfish poisoning occurred in Champerico, on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, July–August 1987. Of 187 people affected with characteristic neurologic symptoms, 26 died. A case study implicated a species of clam, Amphichaena kindermani, harvested from local beaches as the vehicle of the neurotoxins (saxitoxins). Children < 6 years old had a higher fatality rate (50%) than people > 18 years of age (7%). The minimum lethal dose for 1 child was estimated to have been 140 mouse units of toxin/kg body weight; thus children may be more sensitive to the saxitoxins than are adults. This is the first large outbreak of paralytic shellfish poisoning recognized in Guatemala.

Save