(aka blue-green algae)
State Department of Health - Cyanobacteria were
previously grouped with algae but are now classified as bacteria
after analysis of cell structure and cell division. They
differ from other bacteria in that they contain photosynthetic
pigments similar to those found in algae and plants. Although
they are predominantly photosynthetic (light-dependent) organisms,
they are also capable of using organic compounds as a source
of energy. Some cyanobacteria have a specialized structure
called a heterocyst that can fix molecular nitrogen. The
ability to fix nitrogen gives these species a competitive
advantage over other algae. Many cyanobacteria have gas vacuoles
that allow them to remain in suspension and migrate to surface
waters where there is plenty of light for photosynthesis.
On the surface, colonies may clump together and form a scum
which can cause water quality problems in lakes. www.doh.wa.gov
State's slide show on Ecology's Freshwater Algae Program - just
click on full screen and right arrow to view
Algae Control Program - Washington State Department of Ecology
In 2005, the Washington State Legislature established funding
for an algae control program and asked the Washington Department
of Ecology (Ecology) to develop the program. Reducing nutrient input
to lakes is the only long-term solution to prevent algae blooms.
about cyanobacteria and microcystin, search Google for "Microcystin
Recreational Guidance Levels"
guidance levels for microcystin, a known liver toxin that
can be produced by cyanobacteria:
State of Washington - 6ppb
State of Vermont - 6ppb
State of Oregon - 8ppb
ppb - parts per billion
is important to note that cyanotoxins produced by cyanobacteria
can remain in the water for up to two (2) weeks after a bloom
Oregon’s guidance value of 8ppb for microcystin was derived using 20
kg as the default child body weight.
Posting is intended to provide the public with information that indicates a
public health hazard might exist. A further notice should warn that children,
individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, and the elderly (and pets)
are considered susceptible populations.
(The States of Washington and Vermont use 15 kg as the default child body weight.)
Department of Human Services - Cyanobacteria advisories www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/hab
the Devils Lake Water Improvement District's Water Quality page http://dlwid.org
Devils Lake Water Improvement District is embarking on its fourth year
of the CYANO-WATCH program. A three pronged approach, the Cyano-Watch
program is designed to educate about (GREEN), caution (YELLOW) or restrict
(RED) the use of Devils Lake. See the sample flyers that are posted during
Phases I, II, and III of the program. This program has been developed
based on Oregon DHS: Public Health Advisory Guidance for Toxigenic Cyanobacteria
in Recreational Waters.
This year DLWID will be conducting routine toxicity monitoring in conjunction
with the identification and enumeration done in years past. The season when
cyanobacteria flourish is generally July - September, so lake users should
be aware of precautions to be taken when bloom conditions exist. Always watch
and stay clear of cyanoblooms or scummy water, keeping both children and pets
Harmful Algae Bloom-related Illness and Surveillance
System (HABISS), a database that includes
toxicity and public health information.
• North American Lake Management
Society blue-green algae pages - http://www.nalms.org
and 2004 - Bathymetry (Depth) map - Joe
Eilers with MaxDepth Aquatics, Inc. - lake
core sediment analysis for algae species. Noted
that cyanobacteria increased in the lake sediment
following the introduction of grass carp. PADL
had Joe Eilers speak at a Saturday annual meeting
where he mentioned studies linking cyanobacteria
and Alzheimer's in a Guam study. (see
algae deterrent methods considered - SolarBee
• 4/6/06 -
Joe Eilers spoke about
deterring the growth
of blue-green algae
the DLWD meeting. Ray
Smith, Regional Manager
of SolarBee, a Solar-Powered
Circulator also spoke.
PADL's request the Devils
Lake Water Improvement
District posted the Oregon
Department of Human
blue-green algae health
Regatta, Holmes, Campground,
Sand Point and East
Devils Lake State Park.
Please read the state's blue-green
algae health concerns download
State's blue-green algae advisories - www.oregon.gov/DHS/
- Lake Oswego algae deterent - DLWID contacted Lake Oswego and
received pictures of a boat built to skim the water for debris, but not
algae. An aquatic weed harvester is used. Alum is used to help deter algae.
• 6/5/09 - Dr.
Ken Kaufman, Oregon Department of Human Services, Environmental
Health Specialist, Environmental Toxicology Program, 800
NE Oregon Street, Portland OR 97232 , Tele: 971-673-0435 ext.30435,
Fax: 971-673-0457, firstname.lastname@example.org
and two week advisories after an algal bloom
" Toxin levels often increase after the bloom visually begins to decline;
because the toxins are held inside the algal cells and are released when the
cells die and disintegrate. This is why our assessment policy says that advisories
should remain in place for one week after measured toxin levels fall below the
danger threshold; and two weeks after the concentration of toxigenic algal cells
decline below the danger threshold."
• 6/5/09 - Dr. Ken Kaufman on Cyanobacteria
monitoring test accuracy - ELISA
said I believe the district personnel (Paul Robertson
at the Devils Lake Water Improvement District) are using
ELISA test products that are sensitive and accurate.
When they measure a specific toxin and its concentration,
I said, I believe the findings are accurate for the time
and location of the sample. This is a well-tested and
widely used testing technique."
ELISA - Enzyme-linked immunosorbent
assay, also called ELISA, enzyme immunoassay or EIA,
is a biochemical technique http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELISA
- Dr. Ken Kaufman on Cyanobacteria for
persons at risk
" We tend to hear and believe what appeals to our own views and understandings.
I think we need to do good work, solidly based and explain it as well as we can.
That won't necessarily convince everyone; but we hope it will be accepted by
the majority of persons who are at risk."
• 11/5/09 - DLWID manager Paul Robertson report - "at
the 8ppb threshold we shouldn't see any illness related to microcystin
in people unless they ingest more than about a pint of water for someone
average size or about a 1/2 cup for an average 45 pound 8 year
old. This is at 8ppb! If the concentration is 40ppb then that 1/2 cup
of lake water (gulp) in the same child would exceed the deemed daily,
safe consumption limit by five-fold. This is when potentially the liver
and excretory system could be overwhelmed by the toxin and liver damage
could occur. What is important to note is that for acute poisonings
(deaths) in dogs, it is not microcystin that is the lethal toxin, but
anatoxin. This is a much more potent toxin readily associated with
many cyanobacteria, some of which are notably found in Devils Lake
(Anabaena). We, nor do many others, test for anatoxin as the test kits
are not available due to restrictions with Homeland Security following
the 911 tragedies and/or the cost of out sourcing is mostly prohibitive
(hundreds of dollars per sample). It may be warranted to absorb some
of these costs as this toxin is potentially a greater concern. Guidelines
for Anatoxin in Oregon are that samples should not contain greater
Wide - A Voice for Quiet Waters
Oregon Lakes Association Newsletter - June
Lakes Association Hosts Harmful Algae Bloom Workshop at OSU
Karen Williams, OLA PResident, ODEQ NW Basin Coordinator
Spring blue-green algae blooms at Jackson County's Willow Lake and
Lost Creek Lake have already prompted health advisories, with implications
for both recreation and drinking water. As we begin to tally up blue-green
advisories for the season, we can at least count ourselves fortunate
to have dedicated staff at the Oregon Department of Human Services
– Public Health Division, an established Harmful Algal Bloom Surveillance
state program, and elite academic expertise within our borders.
the help of several partners, OLA coordinated a technical workshop
at Oregon State University in late May about Harmful Algae Blooms.
Jennifer Ketterman, coordinator of the DHS HABS Program, was instrumental
in securing funding that allowed OLA to offer this workshop for a
relatively low registration fee. Last year, OLA welcomed to its membership,
world renowned cyanobacterial toxicologist and Wright State University
professor emeritus Dr. Wayne Carmichael, who led the two-day workshop.
Dr. Theo Dreher, chair of the OSU microbiology department, offered
his laboratory space and equipment, the assistance of several of
his students, and his own expertise in genetic identification of
registrants represented a subset of the community OLA aims to serve:
staff and managers from state and federal agencies, lake
managers, public drinking water providers, university researchers,
watershed councils, utility companies, and consultants. As with all
OLA gatherings, the professional networking proved valuable, especially
as we grapple with the interdisciplinary and interagency aspects
of managing HAB monitoring, analysis, and communication.
technical presentations and laboratory work made for a packed two
days. Dr. Carmichael adeptly covered a vast topical range including
chemistry and health effects of algal toxins, biology of toxin producing
algae, treatment strategies, sampling considerations, and analysis
methods for measuring toxins. Jennifer Ketterman and Casey Lyon,
drinking water specialist, presented an overview of HAB occurrences
in Oregon, DHS tracking and reporting of HAB, and DHS communications
with drinking water providers. Dr. Theo Dreher presented a glimpse
of his laboratory's research into the genetic identification of cyanobacteria.
participants spent an afternoon in the laboratory gaining hands-on
experience with algae identification and measuring toxins.
Dr. Dreher's laboratory assistants had set up 35 microscopes and
assortment of samples. Workshop participants were tasked with identifying
the algae in the samples by working through a dichotomous key. Dr.
Dreher's laboratory assistants had set up 35 microscopes and an assortment
of samples. Workshop participants were tasked with identifying the
algae in the samples by working through a dichotomous key. Drs. Carmichael
and Dreher then presented the theory behind the toxin measuring kits,
all based on the ELISA method (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay).
Kits are available to measure microcystin, saxitoxin, and cylindrospermopsin,
but unfortunately, not yet anatoxin. With about 20 minutes of sample
preparation, one can obtain at least a rough estimate of toxin concentration,
if toxin is present at all. A "dipstick" paper kit allows an assessment
"between 1 and 5 micrograms/liter" or "greater than 5 micrograms/liter,
"but often that may be sufficient information for a lake manager
proceed with more intensive sampling or more expensive analysis.
An investment of another 20 minutes and visual comparison with standard
samples in test tubes will gain the lake manager somewhat greater
precision. With a spectrophotometer, one can quantify these tube
samples at a level comparable with results from ELISA plate kits.
Dr. Dreher's lab assistants demonstrated the multiple dilutions and
replicates necessary for an accurate plate kit analysis.
Watch the OLA website for the technical presentations, reference
list, and analytical kit information from the Workshop. Not an OLA
member? Visit www.oregonlakes.org and join the community of lake
Department of Human Services -
Algae Bloom Surveillance
North American Lake Management Society
Oregon Lakes Association - technical presentations, reference list,
and analytical kit information www.oregonlakes.org
the Devils Lake Water Improvement District's
Water Quality page http://dlwid.org
Cyanosite at Purdue University
- AGRICULTURE, BIRDS, GRASS CARP, HEALTH, LAKE CLOSURES, RECREATION
Closures and cyanobacteria
- Lacamas and Round lakes in Washington State closed due to algae blooms. Summertime
closures are relatively common at Vancouver Lake and even at Klineline
Linking Cyanobacteria to Alzheimer's, ALS (Lou Gehrig's
disease), Parkinson's disease and supranuclear palsy -
• 6/7/09 - New Hampshire lake linked to ALS cases, Union Leader
article by Kristen Senz - The risk of developing Lou Gehrig's Disease is 25 times
higher than the norm for people who live around Mascoma Lake, according to researchers
studying the possibility of a link between lake bacteria and neurological illness. www.unionleader.com
• 6/8/09 -
Washington State Department of Ecology Freshwater Algae Program on behalf
of Kathy Hamel (ECY) on using caution until more studies about potential
link between cyanobacteria neurotoxins and neurological disease such
as Alzheimer's. http://listserv.wa.gov/ECOLOGY-FRESHWATER-ALGAE-PROGRAM
• 7/09 - Texas - Biologists at the Institute for
Ethnomedicine, led by Director Paul Alan Cox, believe they’ve found
the culprit for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and other “tangle
diseases” including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease
and supranuclear palsy. The tiny neurotoxic molecule BMAA (?-N-methylamino-L-alanine)
is produced by blue-green algae (also called cyanobacteria) found worldwide. www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2009/july
• University of Miami Medical School - http://brainbank.med.miami.edu/x63.xml
• Blue Water Satellite at www.bluewatersatellite.com/news.html
Carp and cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR effects on immune
• 5/29/09 - Effects of cyanobacterial toxin microcystin-LR on
the transcription levels of immune-related genes in grass carp Ctenopharyngodon
Lili Wei1, 2, Baojian Sun1, MingXian Chang1, Yi Liu1 and Pin Nie1 Contact Information
(1) State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology, and Laboratory
of Fish Diseases, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan,
Hubei Province, 430072, China
(2) College of Animal Science and Technology, Jiangxi Agricultural University,
Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, 330045, China
Received: 10 November 2007 Accepted: 1 May 2009 Published online: 29 May 2009
Abstract Recent studies in mammals have revealed that the cyanobacterial toxin
MC-LR suppresses immune functions. Nevertheless, immunotoxic effects of microcystins
have been little studied in fish. In this paper, we present the profiles of
the immune modulation of MC-LR in grass carp, and quantitative real-time PCR
methodology was developed for the measurement of relative transcription changes
of six immune-related genes in the spleen and head kidney of the grass carp
Ctenopharyngodon idella, which were intraperitoneally injected with 50 ?g MC-LR·kg-1
body weight in a three-week period. This study was focused exclusively on gene
transcription level changes at different time points after MC-LR exposure,
so, only one dose was given. The investigated genes were interleukin-1? (IL-1?),
tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?), type I interferon (Type I IFN), peptidoglycan
recognition protein-L (PGRP-L), immunoglobulin M (IgM) and major histocompatibility
complex class I (MHC-I) genes. The results demonstrated that the transcription
levels of the TNF-?, type I IFN, and PGRP-L genes in the spleen and head kidney
were significantly low at all time points, and those of IL-1? were significantly
low in the head kidney at different time points. In addition, IgM and MHC-I
transcription levels were only significantly low in the spleen and head kidney
at 21 d postinjection. The changes in the transcription levels of immune-related
genes induced by MC-LR confirmed its effect on inhibiting immune function at
the transcription level.
Keywords Grass carp - Immune-relate genes - Microcystin-LR - Immunotoxicity
- Quantitative real-time PCR
Breathing air and cyanobacteria
How can I be exposed? - You can be exposed to cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial
toxins by swimming or drinking water where cyanobacteria are present. You can
also be exposed by breathing air that contains cyanobacterial cells or toxins.
Wind surfing, jet-skiing, boating, or watering lawns are activities where this
might occur. http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/algae/faqs.htm
Birds, chemical Aluminum sulphate and cyanobacteria
• 4/05 - Aluminum sulphate effects on the environment
mentioned on Green Lake, Seattle, Washington podcast with Martin Muller - An
episode of: On The Wing about birding http://podcast.com
Recreation and cyanobacteria
• 4/6/09 - Triathlon on Whidbey Island - Everett Herald by Gale
Bacteria bloom puts Goss Lake on Whidbey Island out of use
LANGLEY -- If the blue-green algaelike bloom on Goss Lake doesn't clear up
soon, participants in the 13th annual Whidbey Island Triathlon and kids on
vacation may have to swim somewhere else, come summer. Island County Public
Health department officials have posted caution signs at Goss Lake since December,
when the cyanobacteria first showed up. A test to identify the bloom and its
toxicity several months ago revealed low levels of toxins. http://listserv.wa.gov/
• Lincoln City
• Parks and Recreation Department promotes an annual fall Triathlon
that includes swimming in Devils Lake.
and Recreation Department promotes the Yaquina Yacht Club from Newport
children's sailing class during the summer on Devils Lake.
• Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau and Lincoln City Chamber mention
swimming and fishing in Devils Lake as "Things to Do"
City Visitor and Convention Bureau has promoted a Devils Lake Fishing Derby
in the fall.
City Visitor and Convention Bureau promotes two annual Kite Festivals near
the D River where Devils Lake water flows down to the ocean.
Stone Memorial Boat Races held annually in the fall on Devils Lake.
• 10/09 - Allen Milligan, Oregon State University - Cyanobacteria:
An Emerging Threat to Agriculture in Oregon? Studying concerns about use of water
with cyanobacteria bloom to irrigate crops - toxin may be as strong as using
a herbicide - and its presence in the food chain considered.