SINNADURAI EARAMPAMOORTHY, M.D.; RAYMOND S. KOFF, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Bivalve mollusks (oysters, clams, and mussels) filter large quantities of water unselectively and thereby may concentrate a variety of aquatic contaminants pathogenic for man within edible shellfish viscera. The recognized bacterial diseases associated with ingestion of contaminated bivalves include typhoid fever (not presently a public health problem), Vibrio parahemolyticus gastroenteritis, and Vibrio cholerae infection. The major known shellfish-associated viral diseases are viral hepatitis and possibly viral gastroenteritis. The ingestion of bivalves that have fed on the toxic species of dinoflagellates that produce red tides may be responsible for an uncommon and very rarely fatal illness, paralytic shellfish poisoning. Outbreaks of airborne respiratory irritation in populations exposed to red tides may be the most common public health problem associated with red tides. The health hazards resulting from industrial, agricultural, and oil pollution of bivalves in coastal waters and the hazard from improper handling of bacterially contaminated mollusks remain to be defined.
SINNADURAI EARAMPAMOORTHY, RAYMOND S. KOFF. Health Hazards of Bivalve-Mollusk Ingestion. Ann Intern Med. 1975;83:107–110. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-83-1-107
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(1):107-110.
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