Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 36287–36297 | Cite as

Concentrations of cylindrospermopsin toxin in water and tilapia fish of tropical fishponds in Egypt, and assessing their potential risk to human health

  • Zakaria A. MohamedEmail author
  • Asmaa Bakr
Research Article


Unlike microcystin, cylindrospermospin (CYN) concentrations in fishpond water and their accumulation in fish tissues have been largely unexplored. This study determined CYN levels in water and tilapia fish organs from three tropical fishponds in southern Egypt. Water and fish samples were collected monthly from fishponds for 12 months (Oct 2012 to Sep 2013). The results revealed that six CYN-producing species of cyanobacteria dominated phytoplankton populations and formed blooms in these fishponds during warm months. Among these species, Anabaena affinis, Planktothrix agardhii, Cylindrospermopsis catemaco, and C. philippinensis were assigned as CYN producers for the first time in the present study. The highest cell densities of CYN-producing species in fishponds were recorded in August and September 2013, correlating with high temperature, pH and nutrient concentrations. Dissolved CYN was found in fishpond waters at levels (0.3–2.76 μg L−1) very close to those of particulate CYN (0.4–2.37 μg L−1). CYN was also estimated in tilapia fish organs at levels up to 417 ng g−1 in the intestines, 1500 ng g−1 in the livers, and 280 ng g−1in edible muscles. Compared to the recommended guideline (0.03 μg kg−1 day−1), the estimated daily intake (EDI) of CYN in our samples of edible muscles exceeded this limit by a factor of 1.3–14 during summer and autumn. This might represent a risk to human health upon consumption of such contaminated fish muscles. Therefore, fishponds worldwide should be monitored for the presence toxic cyanobacteria to protect humans from their potent toxins.


Cyanobacteria Cylindrospermopsin Health risk Fish Cyanotoxins 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of ScienceSohag UniversitySohagEgypt

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