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Harmful Algae

Lynn M Grattan, Carol Boushey, Kate Tracy, Vera Trainer, Sparkle M Roberts, Nicolas Schluterman, J Glenn Morris
This study represents a preliminary effort to examine the possible impacts of chronic, low level Domoic Acid (DA) exposure on memory in the CoASTAL cohort. Five hundred thirteen men and women representing three Native American Tribes were studied with standard measures of cognition and razor clam consumption (a known vector of DA exposure) over a four year period. In addition, a pilot metric of DA concentration exposure was used which took into consideration average DA concentration levels in source beaches as well as consumption...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Carol J Boushey, Edward J Delp, Ziad Ahmad, Yu Wang, Sparkle M Roberts, Lynn M Grattan
Three Tribal Nations in the Pacific Northwest United States comprise the members of the CoASTAL cohort. These populations may be at risk for neurobehavioral impairment, i.e., amnesic shellfish poisoning, from shellfish consumption as a result of repeated, low-level domoic acid (DA) exposure present in local clams. Previous work with this cohort confirmed a high proportion of clam consumers with varying levels of potential exposure over time. Since clams are an episodically consumed food, traditional dietary records do not fully capture exposure...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Sparkle M Roberts, Lynn M Grattan, Alexandra C Toben, Christina Ausherman, Vera Trainer, Kate Tracy, J Glenn Morris
Risk perception is a complex process that refers to the way people approach, think about and interpret risks in their environment. An important element of risk perception is that it is culturally situated. Since HAB's can present a health risk in many places around the world, looking at cultural parameters for understanding and interpreting risks are important. This study examined how two different groups of people perceive the potential health risks of low level exposure to domoic acid (DA) through razor clam consumption...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Nicolaus G Adams, Alison Robertson, Lynn M Grattan, Steve Pendleton, Sparkle Roberts, J Kathleen Tracy, Vera L Trainer
The Makah Tribe of Neah Bay, Washington, has historically relied on the subsistence harvest of coastal seafood, including shellfish, which remains an important cultural and ceremonial resource. Tribal legend describes visitors from other tribes that died from eating shellfish collected on Makah lands. These deaths were believed to be caused by paralytic shellfish poisoning, a human illness caused by ingestion of shellfish contaminated with saxitoxins, which are produced by toxin-producing marine dinoflagellates on which the shellfish feed...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Kate Tracy, Carol Boushey, Sparkle M Roberts, J Glenn Morris, Lynn M Grattan
The CoASTAL cohort represents the first community cohort assembled to study a HAB related illness. It is comprised of three Native American tribes in the Pacific NW for the purpose of studying the health impacts of chronic, low level domoic acid (DA) exposure through razor clam consumption. This cohort is at risk of domoic acid (DA) toxicity by virtue of their geographic location (access to beaches with a history of elevated DA levels in razor clams) and the cultural and traditional significance of razor clams in their diet...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Lynn M Grattan, Sailor Holobaugh, J Glenn Morris
The five most commonly recognized Harmful Algal Bloom related illnesses include Ciguatera poisoning, Paralytic Shellfish poisoning, Neurotoxin Shellfish poisoning, Diarrheic Shellfish Poisoning and Amnesic Shellfish poisoning. Although they are each the product of different toxins, toxin assemblages or HAB precursors these clinical syndromes have much in common. Exposure occurs through the consumption of fish or shellfish; routine clinical tests are not available for diagnosis; there is no known antidote for exposure; and the risk of these illnesses can negatively impact local fishing and tourism industries...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Maria-Cecilia Lopez, Ricardo F Ungaro, Henry V Baker, Lyle L Moldawer, Alison Robertson, Margaret Abbott, Sparkle M Roberts, Lynn M Grattan, J Glenn Morris
Ciguatera fish poisoning (ciguatera) is a common clinical syndrome in areas where there is dependence on tropical reef fish for food. A subset of patients develops recurrent and, in some instances, chronic symptoms, which may result in substantial disability. To identify possible biomarkers for recurrent/chronic disease, and to explore correlations with immune gene expression, peripheral blood leukocyte gene expression in 10 ciguatera patients (7 recurrent, 3 acute) from the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 5 unexposed Florida controls were evaluated...
July 2016: Harmful Algae
Rainer Kurmayer, Li Deng, Elisabeth Entfellner
Bloom-forming cyanobacteria Planktothrix agardhii and P. rubescens are regularly involved in the occurrence of cyanotoxin in lakes and reservoirs. Besides microcystins (MCs), which inhibit eukaryotic protein phosphatase 1 and 2A, several families of bioactive peptides are produced, thereby resulting in impressive secondary metabolite structural diversity. This review will focus on the current knowledge of the phylogeny, morphology, and ecophysiological adaptations of Planktothrix as well as the toxins and bioactive peptides produced...
April 2016: Harmful Algae
Vittoria Roncalli, Jefferson T Turner, David Kulis, Donald M Anderson, Petra H Lenz
Inshore and offshore waters of the Gulf of Maine (USA) have spring/summer harmful algal blooms (HABs) of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense, which is responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) in humans. The calanoid copepod Calanus finmarchicus co-occurs with A. fundyense during the seasonal blooms. At that time, C. finmarchicus population abundances are high, dominated by immature copepods preparing for diapause, and by actively-reproducing adults. High survival has been reported for copepods exposed to toxic A...
January 2016: Harmful Algae
Bas W Ibelings, Lorraine C Backer, W Edwin A Kardinaal, Ingrid Chorus
Toxic cyanobacteria became more widely recognized as a potential health hazard in the 1990s, and in 1998 the World Health Organization (WHO) first published a provisional Guideline Value of 1 μg L(-1) for microcystin-LR in drinking-water. In this publication we compare risk assessment and risk management of toxic cyanobacteria in 17 countries across all five continents. We focus on the three main (oral) exposure vehicles to cyanotoxins: drinking-water, water related recreational and freshwater seafood. Most countries have implemented the provisional WHO Guideline Value, some as legally binding standard, to ensure the distribution of safe drinking-water with respect to microcystins...
December 2015: Harmful Algae
Mark L Wells, Vera L Trainer, Theodore J Smayda, Bengt S O Karlson, Charles G Trick, Raphael M Kudela, Akira Ishikawa, Stewart Bernard, Angela Wulff, Donald M Anderson, William P Cochlan
Climate change pressures will influence marine planktonic systems globally, and it is conceivable that harmful algal blooms may increase in frequency and severity. These pressures will be manifest as alterations in temperature, stratification, light, ocean acidification, precipitation-induced nutrient inputs, and grazing, but absence of fundamental knowledge of the mechanisms driving harmful algal blooms frustrates most hope of forecasting their future prevalence. Summarized here is the consensus of a recent workshop held to address what currently is known and not known about the environmental conditions that favor initiation and maintenance of harmful algal blooms...
November 1, 2015: Harmful Algae
Asha Jaja-Chimedza, Christopher Saez, Kristel Sanchez, Miroslav Gantar, John P Berry
Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii is among the most commonly recognized toxigenic cyanobacteria associated with harmful algal blooms (HAB) in freshwater systems, and specifically associated with multiple water-soluble toxins. Lipophilic metabolites from C. raciborskii, however, were previously shown to exert teratogenicity (i.e. inhibition of vertebrate development) in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo model, specifically suggesting the presence of additional bioactive compounds unrelated to the currently known toxins...
November 1, 2015: Harmful Algae
Jason E Adolf, Tsvetan R Bachvaroff, Jonathan R Deeds, Allen R Place
Ichthyotoxic Karlodinium veneficum has become a persistent problem in the eutrophic Swan River Estuary (SRE) near Perth, Western Australia. Karlotoxin (KmTx) concentrations and K. veneficum were sampled from March to July 2005, spanning a bloom confirmed by microscopy and genetics (ITS sequence), and a fish kill coincident with end of the bloom. The objective of this study was to investigate K. veneficum cell and toxin dynamics, and water quality conditions, leading up to the bloom and fish kill in this estuarine system...
September 2015: Harmful Algae
Christian M Petitpas, Jefferson T Turner, Bruce A Keafer, Dennis J McGillicuddy, Donald M Anderson
Embayments and salt ponds along the coast of Massachusetts can host localized blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense. One such system, exhibiting a long history of toxicity and annual closures of shellfish beds, is the Nauset Marsh System (NMS) on Cape Cod. In order measure net growth rates of natural A. fundyense populations in the NMS during spring 2012, incubation experiments were conducted on seawater samples from two salt ponds within the NMS (Salt Pond and Mill Pond). Seawater samples containing natural populations of grazers and A...
July 2015: Harmful Algae
Stephanie K Moore, Brian D Bill, Levi R Hay, Jennifer Emenegger, Kiara C Eldred, Cheryl L Greengrove, Julie E Masura, Donald M Anderson
Factors regulating excystment of a toxic dinoflagellate in the genus Alexandrium were investigated in cysts from Puget Sound, Washington State, USA. Experiments were carried out in the laboratory using cysts collected from benthic seedbeds to determine if excystment is controlled by internal or environmental factors. The results suggest that the timing of germination is not tightly controlled by an endogenous clock, though there is a suggestion of a cyclical pattern. This was explored using cysts that had been stored under cold (4 °C), anoxic conditions in the dark and then incubated for 6 weeks at constant favorable environmental conditions...
March 2015: Harmful Algae
Endymion D Cooper, Bastian Bentlage, Theodore R Gibbons, Tsvetan R Bachvaroff, Charles F Delwiche
Metagenomic methods provide a powerful means to investigate complex ecological phenomena. Developed originally for study of Bacteria and Archaea, the application of these methods to eukaryotic microorganisms is yet to be fully realized. Most prior environmental molecular studies of eukaryotes have relied heavily on PCR amplification with eukaryote-specific primers. Here we apply high throughput short-read sequencing of poly-A selected RNA to capture the metatranscriptome of an estuarine dinoflagellate bloom...
July 2014: Harmful Algae
Barbara Kirkpatrick, Kate Kohler, Margaret M Byrne, Jamie Studts
Harmful algal blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, occur throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Recent research efforts sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and others found that Florida red tide causes both acute and possibly chronic health effects from the toxic aerosols. Florida red tide also demonstrated significant social and economic impacts to both coastal residents and visitors. In conjunction with the research, persistent outreach efforts were conducted over the 11 year period...
February 1, 2014: Harmful Algae
Elena P Gold, Henry M Jacocks, Andrea J Bourdelais, Daniel G Baden
Brevetoxins are a family of ladder-frame polyether toxins produced by the marine dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. During blooms of K. brevis, inhalation of brevetoxins aerosolized by wind and wave action can lead to asthma-like symptoms in persons at the beach. Consumption of either shellfish or finfish contaminated by K. brevis blooms can lead to the development of neurotoxic shellfish poisoning. The toxic effects of brevetoxins are due to binding at a defined site on, and subsequent activation of, voltage-sensitive sodium channels (VSSCs) in cell membranes (site 5)...
June 2013: Harmful Algae
Emily R Hall, Kate Nierenberg, Anamari J Boyes, Cynthia A Heil, Leanne J Flewelling, Barbara Kirkpatrick
Over the years, numerous outreach strategies by the science community, such as FAQ cards and website information, have been used to explain blooms of the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis that occur annually off the west coast of Florida to the impacted communities. Many state and federal agencies have turned to funded research groups for assistance in the development and testing of environmental outreach products. In the case of Florida red tide, the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute/Mote Marine Laboratory (MML) Cooperative Red Tide Agreement allowed MML to initiate a project aimed at developing innovative outreach products about Florida red tide...
May 1, 2012: Harmful Algae
Donald M Anderson, Tilman J Alpermann, Allan D Cembella, Yves Collos, Estelle Masseret, Marina Montresor
The dinoflagellate genus Alexandrium is one of the major harmful algal bloom (HAB) genera with respect to the diversity, magnitude and consequences of blooms. The ability of Alexandrium to colonize multiple habitats and to persist over large regions through time is testimony to the adaptability and resilience of this group of species. Three different families of toxins, as well as an as yet incompletely characterized suite of allelochemicals are produced among Alexandrium species. Nutritional strategies are equally diverse, including the ability to utilize a range of inorganic and organic nutrient sources, and feeding by ingestion of other organisms...
February 2012: Harmful Algae
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