Rapid communication Open Access
Like 0


We report on six cases of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning following consumption of mussels harvested in the United Kingdom. spp. in the water column was found to have increased rapidly at the production site resulting in high levels of okadaic acid-group lipophilic toxins in the flesh of consumed mussels. Clinicians and public health professionals should remain aware of algal-derived toxins being a potential cause of illness following seafood consumption.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. European Union Reference Laboratory for Marine (EU-RL-MB). Agencia Española de Consumo, Seguridad Alimentaria y Nutrición (AECOSAN). EU-harmonised standard operating procedure for determination of lipophilic marine biotoxins in molluscs by LC-MS/MS version 5. Vigo: AECOSAN; 2015. [Online]. [Accessed 20 Aug 2019]. Available from: http://www.aecosan.msssi.gob.es/AECOSAN/docs/documentos/laboratorios/LNRBM/ARCHIVO2EU-Harmonised-SOP-LIPO-LCMSMS_Version5.pdf
  2. European Commission. Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council 29 April 2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for on the hygiene of foodstuffs. 30.4.2004: L 139/55. [Accessed 7 Aug 2019]. Available from: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2004:139:0055:0205:en:PDF
  3. Valdiglesias V, Prego-Faraldo MV, Pásaro E, Méndez J, Laffon B. Okadaic acid: more than a diarrheic toxin. Mar Drugs. 2013;11(11):4328-49.  https://doi.org/10.3390/md11114328  PMID: 24184795 
  4. Hossen V, Jourdan-da Silva N, Guillois-Bécel Y, Marchal J, Krys S. Food poisoning outbreaks linked to mussels contaminated with okadaic acid and ester dinophysistoxin-3 in France, June 2009. Euro Surveill. 2011;16(46):20020.  https://doi.org/10.2807/ese.16.46.20020-en  PMID: 22115047 
  5. Whyte C, Swan S, Davidson K. Changing wind patterns linked to unusually high Dinophysis blooms around the Shetland Islands, Scotland. Harmful Algae. 2014;39:365-73.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hal.2014.09.006 
  6. Scoging A, Bahl M. Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning in the UK. Lancet. 1998;352(9122):117.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(98)85023-X  PMID: 9672285 
  7. Chen T, Xu X, Wei J, Chen J, Miu R, Huang L, et al. Food-borne disease outbreak of diarrhetic shellfish poisoning due to toxic mussel consumption: the first recorded outbreak in china. PLoS One. 2013;8(5):e65049.  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0065049  PMID: 23724121 
  8. Lloyd JK, Duchin JS, Borchert J, Quintana HF, Robertson A. Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning, Washington, USA, 2011. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013;19(8):1314-6.  https://doi.org/10.3201/eid1908.121824  PMID: 23876232 
  9. Taylor M, McIntyre L, Ritson M, Stone J, Bronson R, Bitzikos O, et al. Outbreak of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning associated with mussels, British Columbia, Canada. Mar Drugs. 2013;11(5):1669-76.  https://doi.org/10.3390/md11051669  PMID: 23697950 
  10. Paredes I, Rietjens IM, Vieites JM, Cabado AG. Update of risk assessments of main marine biotoxins in the European Union. Toxicon. 2011;58(4):336-54.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.toxicon.2011.07.001  PMID: 21777598 
  11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 309. Yield and nutritional value of the commercially more important fish species. Rome: FAO; 1989. [Accessed 7 Aug 2019]. Available from: http://www.fao.org/3/T0219E/T0219E00.htm
  12. Gobler CJ, Doherty OM, Hattenrath-Lehmann TK, Griffith AW, Kang Y, Litaker RW. Ocean warming since 1982 has expanded the niche of toxic algal blooms in the North Atlantic and North Pacific oceans. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017;114(19):4975-80.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1619575114  PMID: 28439007 
  13. Berdalet E, Fleming LE, Gowen R, Davidson K, Hess P, Backer LC, et al. Marine harmful algal blooms, human health and wellbeing: challenges and opportunities in the 21st century. J Mar Biol Assoc U.K.2015;2015. PMID: 26692586 

Data & Media loading...

Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error