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Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning

Confirmed Case

  • Gastrointestinal symptoms [1] within 24 hours OR neurological symptoms [1] within 48h of eating shellfish [2];
  • Laboratory confirmation through:
    • Detection of domoic acid in ingested shellfish in edible tissues in excess of 10 mg/kg (10 ppm);
    • Detection of domoic acid in urine collected within 24h of exposure and illness.

Probable Case

  • Neurological symptoms [1] within 48 hours of eating shellfish [2];
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms [1] within 24h of eating shellfish [2] AND where the shellfish was:
    • also eaten by a confirmed case or a probable case with neurological symptoms;
    • from an area with domoic acid in excess of 20mg/kg (20ppm) in shellfish.


  1. Clinical illness defined as:
    1. Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea).
    2. Neurological symptoms (confusion and/or loss of memory). 
    Illness lasts hours to days. In severe cases: tachycardia, hypotension, arrhythmias, pulmonary edema, profuse respiratory secretions, mutism, unusual ocular movements with disconjugate gaze and grimacing, seizures, coma and/or death.
  2. At risk shellfish include filter feeding molluscan bivalve shellfish: clams, mussels, scallops (digestive tissue), oysters, cockles and whelks.  Other at risk species include the hepatopancreas of crab, and plantiverous fish eaten whole with digestive tissue such as anchovies and sardines.
SOURCE: Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning ( )
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