Glossary Search for scombrotoxism (Search Options)
Definition of Term
A form of fish poisoning resulting from consumption of scombrotoxic fishes. Certain bacteria in improperly preserved fish act on the histidine in the dark meat of the fish, converting it to saurine and histamine. The ingestion of the latter causes an allergy-like reaction. Toxic scombroid flesh has a sharp or peppery taste. Symptoms, which usually develop a few minutes after ingestion, include headache, epigastric and abdominal pain, burning of the throat, cardiac palpitation, thirst, vomiting and diarrhoea. A general erythema and, in severe cases, respiratory distress may develop. Acute symptoms usually last 10-12 hours, death is rare. In the event of poisoning, the stomach should be evacuated and epinephrine administered. Brotoxin, eperephrin, cortisone, and intravenous bendryl may be employed.
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