ITREOH Building of regional capacity to monitor recreational water: Development of a non-commercial microcystin ELISA and its impact on public health policy

Beatriz M. Brena, Laura Díaz, Daniel Sienra, Graciela Ferrari, Natalia Ferraz, Ulf Hellman, Gualberto Gonzalez-Sapienza, Jerold A Last

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


In 2001, a University of California, Davis-University of the Republic, Montevideo, partnership created a Fogarty ITREOH program to exploit the potential of ELISA to provide a low-cost environmental analysis attractive to economically distressed countries of temperate South America. This paper describes the development and validation of an ELISA method for the determination of Cyanobacteria microcystin toxins in algal blooms, which release hepatotoxic metabolites that can reach toxic levels in rivers, lakes, or coastal estuaries used for recreation or water supplies. The assay made possible the first systematic monitoring of water from the Rio de la Plata at Montevideo over two summers. The project has been integrated into a bi-national effort to monitor the Rio de la Plata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2006



  • Cyanobacteria
  • Fogarty International Center
  • Microcystins
  • Monitoring
  • Uruguay, Rio de la Plata
  • Water pollution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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