What is Palytoxin?

a photo of Figured leather jacket
Colorful-looking fish are often poisonous.

Figured leather jacket (luterus scriptus) is a type of large filefish that lives in the warm seas of the world. The meat is used to make kamaboko (boiled fish paste), but there have been cases of poisoning from this fish in various places including Okinawa, Saipan and Tahiti. The toxin found through research was given the name Palytoxin.

With Palytoxin, Palythoa tuberculosa is generated and it is a highly toxic substance that accumulates in various sea creatures through the food chain. It is considered to be even more toxic than that of blowfish. Even heat does not break down this toxin

The toxicity symptoms suddenly appear between 3 to 36 hours after consumption. However, vomiting and diarrhea are not normally occurring symptoms. The main symptoms of this poisoning include intense muscle soreness starting in the trunk near the limbs, followed by muscle weakness. Finally, coronary artery spasms occur, causing death. Cases of poisoning in Japan are well-known to be caused by the intake of Scarus ovifrons, and there are also reports of Epinephelus bruneu, Ostracion immaculatus, Lactoria diaphana, Aluterus scriptus, etc. Cases have occurred in Kyushu and Shikoku, such as Kagoshima, Miyazaki and Kochi prefectures.

We hope this information will be helpful.

Revision date: December 1, 2022

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