The Occurrence of Cyanobacterial Toxins in Lake Champlain

  • Gregory L. Boyer
  • Mary C. Watzin
  • Angela D. Shambaugh
  • Michael F. Satchwell
  • Barry H. Rosen
  • Timothy Mihuc
Conference paper

Abstract

Cyanobacteria are common in the plankton of most lakes, including Lake Champlain. Certain species of cyanobacteria can produce toxins that are harmful to people and their pets. In 2000 and 2001, we examined the occurrence of potential toxin-producing species of cyanobacteria in Lake Champlain. Samples were collected from locations throughout the lake and at the intake locations for five water treatment plants. Drinking water is a potential route of exposure for the thousands of people who draw their drinking water from the lake. When toxin-producing species of cyanobacteria were found, samples were also collected for toxin analysis. Microcystins were measured using a combination of different assays including an enzyme-linked immunoassay or ELISA, inhibition of the protein phosphatase 1A, and by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Anatoxin-a was determined by HPLC and confirmed by HPLC coupled with mass spectroscopy. The PSP toxins (saxitoxin, neosaxitoxin, and gonyautoxins 1-4) were measured by HPLC with fluorescent detection.

At least six species of potential toxin producing cyanobacteria were commonly found in the Lake Champlain, including Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Anabaena flos-aquae and Microcystis aeruginosa. Microcystins were the predominate toxin and were observed at low levels in nearly half of the samples collected. Except for several samples collected in the north lake, microcystin concentrations were quite low, well below the 1 µg L−1 World Health Organization’s guideline for the protection of human health. Concentrations of anatoxin-a were likewise generally low, but when this toxin did occur, it sometimes reached levels that could potentially exceed threshold values affecting human health. Low levels of toxins were also detected in both raw and finished water samples collected from the water treatment plants. Highest concentrations of toxin were found in the treatment plants that have shallow intake pipes. Treatment plants with deeper water intakes showed lower concentrations of cyanobacterial toxins. The general occurrence of toxins suggests that additional research is needed to fully assess the risks of exposure for people.

Keywords

High Performance Liquid Chromatography Water Treatment Plant Cyanobacterial Bloom Microcystis Aeruginosa Toxic Cyanobacterium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. AWWA. 1989. Taste and Odor in Drinking Water Supplies. American Water Works AssociationGoogle Scholar
  2. Boyer, G. L, and G. D. Goddard. 1999. High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) coupled with postcolumn electrochemical oxidation ( ECOS) for the detection of PSP toxins. Natural Toxins. 7: 353–359Google Scholar
  3. Brittain, S. M., J. Wang, L Babcock-Jackson, W. W. Carmichael, K. L Rinehart, and D. A. Culver. 2000. Isolation and characterization of microcystins, cyclic heptapeptide hepatotoxins from a Lake Erie Strain of Microcystis aeruginosa. J. Great Lakes Res. 26: 241–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown, E. A. Duchovnay, A. McIntosh, A. Shambaugh, and A. Williams. 1991. 1991 Lake Champlain Biomonitoring Report. Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center. School of Natural Resources, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, E. A. Duchovnay, A. McIntosh, A. Shambaugh, and A. Williams. 1992. 1992 Lake Champlain Biomonitoring Report. Vermont Water Resources and Lake Studies Center. School of Natural Resources, University of Vermont.Google Scholar
  6. Carmichael, W. W. 1998. Microcystin concentrations in human livers: Estimation of human lethal dose-lessons from Caruaru, Brazil. Abstracts, 4th International Conference Toxic Cyanobacteria, September, 27. Beaufort, NC.Google Scholar
  7. Carmichael, W. W. and J. An. 1999. Using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a protein phosphatase inhibition assay (PP1A) for the detection of microcystins and nodularins. Nat. Toxins. 7: 377–385.Google Scholar
  8. Chorus, I., and J. Bartram. 1999. Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water. A guide to their public health consequences, monitoring and management. EFN Spon, New York, NY, 416 pp.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devlin, J. P., O. E. Edwards, P. R. Gorham, N. R. Hunter, R. K. Pike, and B. Stavric. 1977. Anatoxin-a, a toxic alkaloid from Anabaena Jlos-aquae NRC-44h. Can J. Chem. 55: 1367–1371.Google Scholar
  10. Dokulil, M. T., and K. Teubner. 2000. Cyanobacterial dominance in lakes. Hydrobiologia. 438: 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Domaske, H.M. and E.C. Obert. 2001. Avian botulism in Lake Erie. Great Lakes Research Review. 5: 1–5.Google Scholar
  12. Falconer, I. R. 2001. Toxic cyanobacterial bloom problems in Australian waters: risks and impacts on human health. Phycologia. 40: 228–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fujiki, H., E. Sueoka, and M. Suganuma. 1996. Carcinogenesis of microcystins. In: “Toxic Microcystis” M. F. Watanabe, K. Harada, W. W. Carmichael, and H. Fujiki, Eds., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 203–232.Google Scholar
  14. Harada, K. 1996. Chemistry and detection of microcystins. In: “Toxic Microcystis” M. F. Watanabe, K. Harida, W. W. Carmichael, and H. Fujiki, Eds., CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 103–148.Google Scholar
  15. Howell, T., L. Heintsch, and J. Winter. 2002. Abundance and distribution of cyanobacteria in Hamilton Harbour and adjoining areas of Lake Ontario on September 6 and 20, 2001. Abstract presented to Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy. Spring 2002Google Scholar
  16. James, K. J., and I. R. Sherlock. 1996. Determination of the cyanobacterial neurotoxin, anatoxin-a, by derivatization using 7-fluoro-4-nitro-2,1,3- benzoxadiazole (NBD-F) and HPLC analysis with fluorimetric detection. Biomed. Chromatogr. 10: 46–47.Google Scholar
  17. Jochimsen, E. M., W.W. Carmichael, J. S. An, D.M. Cardo, S.T. Cookson, C.E. Holmes, M.B.D. Antunes, D.A. Demelo, T.M. Lyra, V.S.T. Barreto, S. M. F. O. Azevedo, and W.R. Jarvis. 1998. Liver failure and death after exposure to microcystins at a hemodialysis center in Brazil. New Eng. J. Med. 338: 873–878.Google Scholar
  18. Kuiper-Goodman, T., I. Falconer, and J. Fitzgerald. 1999. Human Health Aspects. In: “Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water.” I. Chorus, and J. Bartram, Eds., World Health Organization, London, pp. 113–153.Google Scholar
  19. Lahti, K., J. Rapala, A.L. Kivimaki, J. Kukkonen, M. Niemela and K. Sivonen. 2001. Occurrence of microcystins in raw water sources and treated drinking water of Finnish waterworks. Water Sci. Tech. 43: 225–228.Google Scholar
  20. Li, R., W. W. Carmichael, Y. Liu, and M. M. Watanabe. 2000. Taxonomic re-evaluation of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae NH-5 based on morphology and 16s rRNA gene sequences.Google Scholar
  21. Lippy, E.C. and J. Erb, 1976. Gastrointestinal illness at Sewildey PA. J. Am. Water Works Assoc. 68: 606–610.Google Scholar
  22. Murphy, T.P, A. Lawson, C. Nalewajko, H. Mirkin, L. Ross, K Oguma, and T. McIntyre. 2000. Algal toxins–initiators of avian botulism? Environ. Tox. 15: 558–567.Google Scholar
  23. Myer, G. E., and G. K. Gruendling. 1979. Limnology of Lake Champlain. Lake Champlain Basin Study, New England River Basins Commission, Burlington, VT.Google Scholar
  24. Oshima, Y. 1995. Postcolumn derivatization liquid chromatographic method for paralytic shellfish toxins. J. AOAC Int. 78: 528–532.Google Scholar
  25. Paerl, H. W., R. S. Fulton, P. H. Moisander, and J. Dyble. 2001. Harmful Freshwater Algal Blooms, with an emphasis on cyanobacteria. The Scientific World. 1: 76–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Parsons, T. R., Y. Malta, and C. M. Lalli. 1984. A Manual of Chemical and Biological Methods for Seawater Analysis. Pergamon Press, NY, pp 101–104.Google Scholar
  27. Pouria, S., A. de Andrade, J. Barbosa, R. L. Cavalcanti, V. S. T. Barreto, C. J. Ward, W. Preiser, G. K. Poon, G. H. Neild, and G. A. Codd. 1998. Fatal microcystin intoxication in haemodialysis unit in Caruaru, Brazil. Lancet. 352: 21–26.Google Scholar
  28. Rosen, B. H., A. Shambaugh, M. Watzin, G. Boyer, F. Smith, L. Ferber, C. Eliopoulos, and P. Stange’. 2001. Evaluation of Potential Blue-green Algal Toxins in Lake Champlain. Technical report prepared for Lake Champlain Basin Program, July 2001.Google Scholar
  29. Sawyer, P. J., J. H. Gentile, and J. J. Sasner, Jr. 1968. Demonstration of a toxin from Aphanizomenon flosaquae. Can. J. Microbiol. 14: 1199–1204.Google Scholar
  30. Shambaugh, A., A. Duchovnay, and A. McIntosh. 1999. A Survey of Lake Champlain Plankton. In: “Lake Champlain in Transition: From Research toward Restoration” T. O. Manley, and P. L. Manley, Eds., Amer. Geophys. Union, Wash. DC., pp. 323–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Watzin, M.C., A.L. Shambaugh, E.K. Brines, and G.L. Boyer. 2002. Monitoring arid evaluation of Cyanobacteria in Burlington Bay, Lake Champlain: Summer 2001. Technical report prepared for Lake Champlain Basin Program, July 2002.Google Scholar
  32. Ward, C. J., and G. A. Codd. 1999. Comparative toxicity of four microcystins of different hydrophobicities to the protozoan, Tetrahymena pyriformis. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86: 874–882.Google Scholar
  33. World Health Organization. 1998. Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality. 2“” ed. Addendum to Volume 2, Health Criteria and Other Supporting Information. World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  34. Yang, X., M. F. Satchwell, and G. L. Boyer. 2001. The identification of anatoxin-a from a toxic blue-green algae bloom in Lake Champlain, USA. Abstracts, Fifth international Conference on Toxic Cyanobacteria, Noosa Lakes, Queensland, AU. July 15, 2001.Google Scholar
  35. Zuniga, D., M. F. Satchwell, and G. L. Boyer. 2002. Development of an acetylcholinesterase inhibition assay for the detection of anatoxin-a(s) in New York waters. Abstracts, SUNY-ESF Graduate and Undergraduate Research Symposium. Syracuse, NY April 28 2002.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory L. Boyer
    • 1
  • Mary C. Watzin
    • 2
  • Angela D. Shambaugh
    • 2
  • Michael F. Satchwell
    • 1
  • Barry H. Rosen
    • 3
    • 4
  • Timothy Mihuc
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry, State University of New YorkCollege of Environmental Science and ForestrySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, School of Natural ResourcesUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  3. 3.USDA-NRCSWatershed Science InstituteBurlingtonUSA
  4. 4.US Fish and Wildlife ServiceVero BeachUSA
  5. 5.Lake Champlain Research InstitutePlattsburgh State UniversityPlattsburghUSA

Personalised recommendations