Five major human toxic syndromes caused by the consumption of shellfish contaminated by algal toxins are presented. The increased risks to humans of shellfish toxicity from the prevalence of harmful algal blooms (HABs) may be a consequence of large-scale ecological changes from anthropogenic activities, especially increased eutrophication, marine transport and aquaculture, and global climate change. Improvements in toxin detection methods and increased toxin surveillance programmes are positive developments in limiting human exposure to shellfish toxins.
(Accepted March 24 2010)
(Online publication April 23 2010)