Cyanobacterial proliferations in freshwater ecosystems, also known as blooms, can have a significant impact on the health of animals and humans living in or using these systems for drinking water and/or recreational purposes. However, the health risks for wild and domestic terrestrial vertebrates resulting from the exposure to cyanotoxins in water are still largely ignored, despite an increasing number of reports of poisoning in the veterinary literature. Worldwide, the frequency and intensity of harmful cyanobacterial bloom appear to increase in relation with the degradation of the water quality (eutrophication) in numerous freshwater ecosystems. Some of the recently developed methods are useful in analyzing biological specimens to confirm a diagnosis of poisoning, but this is not routinely available or pursued in suspect cases. The lack of methods to confirm exposure is most likely responsible for the low number of reported cases in the veterinary literature over the past 20-30 years. The new analytical methods provide insights into the true frequency of cyanotoxin poisoning in animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)