Toxins produced in cyanobacterial water blooms - toxicity and risks

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Toxins produced in cyanobacterial water blooms - toxicity and risks

Cyanobacterial blooms in freshwaters represent a major ecological and human health problem worldwide. This paper briefly summarizes information on major cyanobacterial toxins (hepatotoxins, neurotoxins etc.) with special attention to microcystins - cyclic heptapeptides with high acute and chronic toxicities. Besides discussion of human health risks, microcystin ecotoxicology and consequent ecological risks are also highlighted. Although significant research attention has been paid to microcystins, cyanobacteria produce a wide range of currently unknown toxins, which will require research attention. Further research should also address possible additive, synergistic or antagonistic effects among different classes of cyanobacterial metabolites, as well as interactions with other toxic stressors such as metals or persistent organic pollutants.

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Interdisciplinary Toxicology

The Journal of Institute of Experimental Pharmacology of Slovak Academy of Sciences

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