Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning


  • Associated with red tide
  • Seen in Southeast US, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, New Zealand
  • Caused by brevetoxins secreted by dinoflagellates during algal blooms, which are then ingested by shellfish and/or aerosolized[1]


  • Based on symptoms and history of ingesting shellfish or proximity to red tide

Differential Diagnosis

Marine toxins and envenomations


  • Symptomatic


  • Most patients fully recover within 72 hours

See Also


  1. James KJ et al. Shellfish toxicity: human health implications of marine algal toxins. Epidemiol Infect. 2010;138(7):927-40.
  2. Morris PD et al. Clinical and epidemiological features of neurotoxic shellfish poisoning in North Carolina. Am J Public Health. 1991;81(4):471-4.
  3. Fleming LE et al. Aerosolized red-tide toxins (brevetoxins) and asthma. Chest 2007;131:187.