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New Fish-Killing Alga in Coastal Delaware Produces Neurotoxins

By Bourdelais, Andrea J.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000225727
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 1.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: New Fish-Killing Alga in Coastal Delaware Produces Neurotoxins  
Author: Bourdelais, Andrea J.
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, United Nations., United Nations. Office for Disarmament Affairs
Collections: Government Library Collection, Disarmament Documents
Publication Date:
Publisher: United Nations- Office for Disarmament Affairs (Unoda)


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Bourdelais, A. J. (n.d.). New Fish-Killing Alga in Coastal Delaware Produces Neurotoxins. Retrieved from

Government Reference Publication

Excerpt: Harmful algal blooms continue to be a focus of attention in virtually all coastal regions of the United States (1?2). Scientists have clearly demonstrated microalgae associated with very specific symptoms of human poisoning. These symptoms, often associated with the consumption of toxic seafood, are known as paralytic shellfish poisoning (saxitoxin ingestion), neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (exposure to brevetoxin), diarrheic shellfish poisoning (ingestion of okadaic acid), amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP; domoic acid ingestion), and ciguatera fish poisoning (with ciguatoxin ingestion), respectively (3?7). These syndromes are common to temperate, subtropical, and tropical environments where the microalgae associated with each toxin are found. New harmful algae continue to be identified in expanding geographic areas, the most recent being the heterotrophic dinoflagellates Pfiesteria piscicida and P. shumwayae (8,9). These lesion-causing fish killers are reported to produce a narcotizing material that, when airborne, elicits human neurologic impairment and reversible memory deficits (10). Discoveries of toxic blooms in regions previously thought to be free of toxic phytoplankton have increased markedly over the past three decades, further supporting the notion of a definite global spread and increase in occurrence (11,12). Along with the elevated frequency, organisms thought previously to be nontoxic are being demonstrated to produce potent toxins. Notable recent events of this type are the diatom blooms of Pseudo-nitzschia multiseries on the Canadian Atlantic coast in 1987 and P. australis on the California coast in 1991, 1998, and 1999, causing human ASP and marine animal deaths, respectively (7,13,14).


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