Seafood poisoning, symptom, treatment, and prevention

  • Murtaza Mustafa Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • Teruaki Yoshida Borneo Marine Research Institute, Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • Zarinah Waheed


Food related disease or food poisoning is prevalent worldwide with high mortality. Food related disease can be caused by bacteria, viruses parasites, enterotoxins, mycotoxins, chemicals, seafood poisoning e.g. histamine poisoning (scombroid) ciguatera, harmful algal bloom (HAB), and red tide. Illness can also result by red tide while breathing in the aerosolized brevitoxins (i.e. PbTx or Ptychodiscus toxins). Bacterial toxin food poisoning can affect within 1-6 hours, and 8-16 hours, and illness can be with or without bloody diarrhea. The common symptoms of food poisoning include abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Diagnosis include examination of leftover food, food preparation environment, food handlers, feces, vomitus, serum and blood. Treatment with oral rehydration, antiemetic, anti-peristaltic drugs. Antimicrobial agents may be needed in the treatment of Shigellosis, cholera, and lifesaving invasive salmonellosis and typhoid fever. Proper care in handling and cooking raw poultry, beef, pork, and eggs is important to prevent any food borne diseases.