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Mar. Drugs 2016, 14(2), 33; doi:10.3390/md14020033

Palytoxin-Containing Aquarium Soft Corals as an Emerging Sanitary Problem

Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, Via Valerio 6, 34127 Trieste, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peer B. Jacobson
Received: 1 December 2015 / Revised: 26 January 2016 / Accepted: 27 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
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Abstract

Palytoxin (PLTX), one the most potent marine toxins, and/or its analogs, have been identified in different marine organisms, such as Palythoa soft corals, Ostreopsis dinoflagellates, and Trichodesmium cyanobacteria. Although the main concern for human health is PLTXs entrance in the human food chain, there is growing evidence of adverse effects associated with inhalational, cutaneous, and/or ocular exposure to aquarium soft corals contaminated by PLTXs or aquaria waters. Indeed, the number of case reports describing human poisonings after handling these cnidarians is continuously increasing. In general, the signs and symptoms involve mainly the respiratory (rhinorrhea and coughing), skeletomuscular (myalgia, weakness, spasms), cardiovascular (electrocardiogram alterations), gastrointestinal (nausea), and nervous (paresthesia, ataxia, tremors) systems or apparates. The widespread phenomenon, the entity of the signs and symptoms of poisoning and the lack of control in the trade of corals as aquaria decorative elements led to consider these poisonings an emerging sanitary problem. This review summarizes literature data on human poisonings due to, or ascribed to, PLTX-containing soft corals, focusing on the different PLTX congeners identified in these organisms and their toxic potential. View Full-Text
Keywords: palytoxins; Palythoa; Zoanthus; dermotoxicity; inhalational toxicity; aquarium palytoxins; Palythoa; Zoanthus; dermotoxicity; inhalational toxicity; aquarium
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pelin, M.; Brovedani, V.; Sosa, S.; Tubaro, A. Palytoxin-Containing Aquarium Soft Corals as an Emerging Sanitary Problem. Mar. Drugs 2016, 14, 33.

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