Canadian Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning Symposium
The first diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) outbreak in BC's history occurred in August 2011, when over 60 people became ill from eating cooked mussels. DSP is caused when shellfish ingest toxin producing algae. When contaminated shellfish are consumed, rapid onset of diarrhea, nausea and vomiting symptoms (similar to norovirus) can occur. The toxin cannot be inactivated by heat and, therefore, DSP can be associated with raw and cooked shellfish.
Published papers related to this symposium can be found in this
special issue of Marine Drugs, including the
BC outbreak and the
formation of a volunteer harmful algal bloom monitoring network.
screening tests for DSP in WA State, how
climate and the ocean impacts DSP bloom formations, and
SPATT sampling for DSP detection.
was held on November 27, 2012 at the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier
in North Vancouver.
Presentations are posted with permission of the authors.
Note: written abstracts can be found in the
The objectives of this symposium were to:
Name of Presenter
Dr. Lora Fleming
An Overview of Harmful Algal Blooms and Human Health
Testing for Marine Toxins and DSP
The benefits of phytoplankton monitoring for aquaculture operations
Dr. David Cassis
Phytoplankton diversity and screening for small shellfish growers
BC Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning 2011 Outbreak
Washington Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning 2011 Outbreak
Risk Management and Communication for Biotoxin and Sanitary Closures (Fisheries and Oceans)
Risk Management and Communication (BC Shellfish Growers Industry Association)
Risk Management and Communication (BC Centre for Disease Control)
Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program and the CFIA Marine Biotoxin Program in BC
- provide a forum to educate key stakeholders on this emerging issue
- create a DSP network
- identify research and surveillance priorities in BC
- build capacity in BC to respond to DSP and other shellfish toxin outbreak investigations
- optimize risk communication messaging to stakeholders and the public during outbreaks and harmful algal bloom events
This symposium hosted a diverse audience including shellfish growers, epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, medical practitioners, environmental health officers, researchers and government regulators.