saxitoxin

noun

sax·​i·​tox·​in ˌsak-sə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce saxitoxin (audio)
: a potent nonprotein neurotoxin C10H17N7O4·2HCl that originates especially in dinoflagellates (genera Alexandrium, Gymnodinium, and Pyrodinium) found in red tides and that sometimes occurs in and renders toxic normally edible mollusks which feed on them

Examples of saxitoxin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People who eat shellfish contaminated with high levels of saxitoxins usually start feeling ill within 30 to 60 minutes, according to Oregon health officials. TIME, 11 June 2024 Unlike the peptides derived from spider or centipede venoms, saxitoxin is a small molecule, which means any medication based on it can be taken as a pill. Leah Shaffer, Discover Magazine, 24 Feb. 2016 Also gathered there and likely to have high levels of saxitoxin were butter clams, a species known for holding the toxins for extended time periods — and also an important food source for personal-use harvesters. Yereth Rosen, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 The poison, called saxitoxin, comes from the same algae that glows like fairy dust at night in the lagoon. USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2020 The study, led by Florida Tech, is the first report of saxitoxin being detected in marine mammals absent an algae bloom. USA TODAY, 21 Feb. 2020 Analysis found moderate levels of saxitoxin in samples taken from some decaying bodies. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019 The rest had moderate levels of saxitoxin, according to Lefebvre. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019 The two most common strains -- saxitoxin and domoic acid -- attack the nervous system. Hal Bernton, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Nov. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'saxitoxin.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

saxi- (from New Latin Saxidomus giganteus, species of butter clam from which it is isolated) + toxin

First Known Use

1962, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of saxitoxin was in 1962

Dictionary Entries Near saxitoxin

Cite this Entry

“Saxitoxin.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saxitoxin. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

saxitoxin

noun
saxi·​tox·​in ˌsak-sə-ˈtäk-sən How to pronounce saxitoxin (audio)
: a potent nonprotein neurotoxin C10H17N7O4·2HCl that originates especially in dinoflagellates (as of the genera Alexandrium, Gymnodinium, and Pyrodinium) found in red tides and causes paralytic shellfish poisoning when ingested in contaminated shellfish

More from Merriam-Webster on saxitoxin

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