from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A potent neurotoxin that is secreted by a dinoflagellate and can accumulate in the flesh of certain marine fish, such as grouper or snapper, causing ciguatera poisoning.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun toxicology Any of several closely related toxins, having a complex structure including a row of thirteen connected heterocyclic rings, produced by algae that are eaten by many fish; causes ciguatera poisoning in humans.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[cigua(tera) + toxin.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word ciguatoxin.


  • In fact the toxin, called ciguatoxin, is the most potent sodium channel toxin known.

    AGORAVOX - The Citizen Media 2009

  • Ciguatera poisoning from fish is caused by a neurotoxin (ciguatoxin) present in the dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus toxicus. 13 The toxin is passed through the food chain and becomes concentrated in larger fish (greater thanthree kilograms) such as the kingfish and the sturgeon.

    Fish poisonings and envenomations 2010

  • Avoid eating large fish from endemic areas of ciguatoxin.

    Fish poisonings and envenomations 2010

  • Puffer fish grown in culture, for example, do not develop tetrodotoxins, and it is possible that the puffer fish, in addition to synthesizing tetrodotoxins, may serve as transvectors of either tetrodotoxin or ciguatoxin, a different chemical that originates in a dinoflagellate and causes paralytic shellfish poisonings.

    The Serpent and the Rainbow Wade Davis 1985

  • St. Maarten's waters have long suffered from high levels of ciguatoxin, so Bervoets said the test results on lionfish were not a complete surprise.

    The Full Feed from The Huffington Post News Editors 2011

  • If you develop symptoms suggestive of ciguatera, you should seek medical care and advocate for yourself by suggesting ciguatoxin ingestion as a possible cause of your symptoms.

    The Times-Reporter Home RSS 2009

  • People can get sick after eating one of the 400 different kinds of reef fish that can become contaminated with ciguatoxin.

    The Times-Reporter Home RSS 2009

  • A: I think you are referring to the cold allodynia that can occur from ciguatera, a food poisoning from eating seafood contaminated with ciguatoxin, and I will discuss this today.

    The Times-Reporter Home RSS 2009

  • The clear implication was that the ciguatoxin was present in the semen.

    AGORAVOX - The Citizen Media 2009

  • In the new cluster both partners had been poisoned so we don't know if the symptoms were the result of ciguatoxin in semen only or was the result of the commonly reported neurological symptoms characteristic of the syndrome.

    AGORAVOX - The Citizen Media 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A powerful neurotoxin produced by algae and accumulated in fatty tissues of tropical fish. It produces some interesting effects in humans, cataloged in this Wired blog.

    October 15, 2007

  • That sounds nasty.

    October 15, 2007

  • Pretty word, though.

    October 15, 2007

  • Except the "toxin" part. To me, that always sounds like exactly what it is. :-)

    October 15, 2007

  • Eew! I just found this word too: ichthyosarcotoxin. Blecch!

    October 16, 2007