Cigua-Check® is a disposable ciguatoxin test capable of identifying the presence of ciguatoxin in fish flesh. Ciguatera fish poison is a neurological toxin that can result in serious disease symptoms in people who eat fish from nearshore tropical oceans.
Ciguatoxin is produced by a microscopic dinoflagellate algae (Gambierdiscus toxicus) and passed up the food chain. The dinoflagellate is eaten by herbivorous reef fish, which are in turn eaten by larger carnivorous fish, with each step concentrating the toxin.
The geographic distribution of toxic fish is very inconsistent. It is not uncommon for fish from one side of the island to be poisonous while the same species from the other side of the island is safe to eat. Ciguatera poisoning is a serious threat to public health and fisheries development along tropical and subtropical shorelines. More than 60,000 people get ciguatera poisoning each year, worldwide.
Predictions are for more CFP outbreaks as increased fish consumption drives worldwide trade, particularly exports from fish-rich tropical Island nations. The Cigua-Check® test kit is the only commercially available method that offers a viable means to facilitate clinical diagnosis, conduct further surveys, and provide assurance to fisherman.
- When used properly, this test will detect ciguatoxin in fish at levels generally below the level that can cause clinical symptoms in human, however, because of variable human sensitivity to ciguatoxin and the poison's ability to accumulate in the body, susceptibility to toxic fish will vary from person to person.