Tetrodotoxin

Authored by: Rocky Chau , John A. Kalaitzis , Brett A. Neilan

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b16752-53

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Abstract

Tetrodotoxin (TTX; Figure 48.1) is one of the most highly toxic neurotoxins known to humans, and its existence has been known since antiquity. The existence of engravings of puffer fish on a fifth dynasty (2500 BC) Egyptian tomb and references to the toxicity of puffer fish eggs in first and second century BC Chinese texts suggest that both the ancient Egyptians and Chinese knew of the toxic effects of puffer fish. Chinese texts suggest that both the ancient Egyptians and Chinese knew of the toxic effects of puffer fish. Toxic puffer fish are also mentioned in a AD 1600 Chinese materia medica. One of the earliest descriptions, by Europeans, of the toxicity of puffer toxin can be found in the journals of James Cook. 1

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