Diagnosing Microcystin Intoxication of Canines: Clinicopathological Indications, Pathological Characteristics, and Analytical Detection in Postmortem and Antemortem Samples.
ABSTRACT: In the summer of 2018, six dogs exposed to a harmful algal bloom (HAB) of Microcystis in Martin County Florida (USA) developed clinicopathological signs of microcystin (MC) intoxication (i.e., acute vomiting, diarrhea, severe thrombocytopenia, elevated alanine aminotransferase, hemorrhage). Successful supportive veterinary care was provided and led to survival of all but one patient. Confirmation of MC intoxication was made through interpretation of clinicopathological abnormalities, pathological examination of tissues, microscopy (vomitus), and analytical MC testing of antemortem/postmortem samples (vomitus, blood, urine, bile, liver, kidney, hair). Gross and microscopic examination of the deceased patient confirmed massive hepatic necrosis, mild multifocal renal tubular necrosis, and hemorrhage within multiple organ systems. Microscopy of a vomitus sample confirmed the presence of Microcystis. Three analytical MC testing approaches were used, including the MMPB (2-methyl-3-methoxy-4-phenylbutyric acid) technique, targeted congener analysis (e.g., liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry of MC-LR), and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Total Adda MCs (as MMPB) were confirmed in the liver, bile, kidney, urine, and blood of the deceased dog. Urinalysis (MMPB) of one surviving dog showed a high level of MCs (32,000 ng mL-1) 1-day post exposure, with MCs detectable >2 months post exposure. Furthermore, hair from a surviving dog was positive for MMPB, illustrating another testable route of MC elimination in canines. The described cases represent the first use of urine as an antemortem, non-invasive specimen to diagnose microcystin toxicosis. Antemortem diagnostic testing to confirm MC intoxication cases, whether acute or chronic, is crucial for providing optimal supportive care and mitigating MC exposure.
Project description:Toxic cyanobacterial blooms directly threaten both human safety and the ecosystem of surface waters. The widespread occurrence of these organisms, coupled with the tumor-promoting properties of the microcystin toxins that they produce, demands action to mitigate their potential impacts and, thus, a robust understanding of their ecological dynamics. In the present work, the abundance of toxic Microcystis spp. and microcystin (MC)-degrading bacteria in Dianchi Lake, located in Yunnan Province, China, was studied using quantitative PCR. Samples were taken at monthly intervals from June 2010 to December 2011 at three sampling stations within this freshwater lake. Results revealed that variation in the abundance of both total Microcystis spp. and toxic Microcystis spp. exhibited similar trends during the period of the algal bloom, including the reinvasion, pelagic growth, sedimentation, and overwintering periods, and that the proportion of toxic Microcystis was highest during the bloom and lowest in winter. Importantly, we observed that peaks in mlrA gene copy numbers of MC-degrading bacteria occurred in the months following observed peaks in MC concentrations. To understand this phenomenon, we added MCs to the MC-degrading bacteria (designated strains HW and SW in this study) and found that MCs significantly enhanced mlrA gene copy numbers over the number for the control by a factor of 5.2 for the microcystin-RR treatment and a factor of 3.7 for the microcystin-LR treatment. These results indicate that toxic Microcystis and MC-degrading bacteria exert both direct and indirect effects on each other and that MC-degrading bacteria also mediate a shift from toxic to nontoxic populations of Microcystis.
Project description:Microcystins (MCs) are cyclic peptides produced by cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to humans and animals when ingested. Differences in the coding of the non?ribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthase enzyme complex responsible for microcystin production have resulted in more than 100 microcystin variants being reported to date. The microcystin diversity of Microcystis CAWBG11 was investigated using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. This revealed that CAWBG11 simultaneously produced 21 known microcystins and six new congeners: [Asp3] MC-RA, [Asp3] MC-RAba, [Asp3] MC-FA, [Asp3] MC-WA, MC-FAba and MC-FL. The new congeners were putatively characterized by tandem mass spectrometry and chemical derivatization. A survey of the microcystin congeners produced by 49 cyanobacterial strains documented in scientific literature showed that cyanobacteria generally produce four microcystin congeners, but strains which produce up to 47 microcystin congeners have been reported. Microcystis CAWBG11 (which produces at least 27 congeners) was positioned in the top ten percentile of the strains surveyed, and showed fluidity of the amino acids incorporated into both position two and position four.
Project description:Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) and microcystin-RR (MC-RR) produced by harmful cyanobacterial blooms (HCBs) pose substantial threats to the ecosystem and public health due to their potential hepatotoxicity. Degradation of microcystins (MCs) by indigenous bacteria represents a promising method for removing MCs from fresh water without harming the aquatic environment, but only a few microcystin (MC)-degrading bacteria have been isolated and had their mechanisms reported. This study aimed to isolate indigenous bacteria from Lake Taihu, and investigate the capability and mechanism of MC degradation by these bacteria. During a Microcystis bloom, an indigenous MC-degrading bacterium designated MC-LTH2 was successfully isolated from Lake Taihu, and identified as Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila based on phylogenetic analysis. In the presence of MC-LR together with MC-RR, the strain MC-LTH2 was capable of totally degrading both simultaneously in 8 days, at rates of 3.0 mg/(L?d) and 5.6 mg/(L?d), respectively. The degradation rates of MCs were dependent on temperature, pH, and initial MC concentration. Adda (3-amino-9-methoxy-2, 6, 8-trimethyl-10-phenyldeca-4, 6-dienoic acid) was detected as an intermediate degradation product of MCs using high performance liquid chromatography coupled with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (HPLC-TOF-MS). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila capable of degrading two MC analogues and other compounds containing Adda residue completely under various conditions, although the mlrA gene in the strain was not detected. These results indicate the Stenotrophomonas acidaminiphila strain MC-LTH2 possesses a significant potential to be used in bioremediation of water bodies contaminated by MC-LR and MC-RR, and is potentially involved in the degradation of MCs during the disappearance of the HCBs in Lake Taihu.
Project description:We investigated the accumulation and adverse effects of toxic and non-toxic Microcystis in the edible clam Corbicula leana. Treated clams were exposed to toxic Microcystis at 100 ?g of MC (microcystin)-LReq L-1 for 10 days. The experimental organism was then placed in toxin-free water and fed on non-toxic Microcystis for the following 10 days for depuration. Filtering rates (FRs) by C. leana of toxic and non-toxic Microcystis and of the green alga Chlorella vulgaris as a control were estimated. Adverse effects were evaluated though the activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione S-transferase (GST). Clam accumulated MCs (up to 12.7 ± 2.5 ?g g-1 dry weight (DW) of free MC and 4.2 ± 0.6 ?g g-1 DW of covalently bound MC). Our results suggest that although both toxic and non-toxic cyanobacteria caused adverse effects by inducing the detoxification and antioxidant defense system, the clam was quite resistant to cyanotoxins. The estimated MC concentration in C. leana was far beyond the World Health Organization's (WHO) provisional tolerable daily intake (0.04 ?g kg-1 day-1), suggesting that consuming clams harvested during cyanobacterial blooms carries a high health risk.
Project description:This study was carried out in order to investigate the spatial variation of algal toxin (microcystin) concentrations along the shoreline of Lake Victoria. A total of 16 nearshore stations differing in connectivity to the main lake basin were categorized as either closed bays (ratio of bay area to bay opening < 1) or open bays (ratio ? 1) and sampled during November and December 2009. Water samples were analyzed for total phosphorus (TP), chlorophyll a, phytoplankton community composition and concentrations of microcystin (MC). Open and closed bays were significantly different for phytoplankton abundance and composition: Average phytoplankton biovolume was higher for closed bays (45 mm3 L-1 ± 11 SE) than open bays (5 ± 2 mm3 L-1). Cyanobacterial biovolume (mainly Microcystis spp., Anabaena spp. and Planktolyngbya spp.) also was significantly higher in closed bays (82 ± 9% of total biovolume) than in open bays (44 ± 5%). In contrast, diatom biovolume was lower in closed bays (7 ± 1%) than in open bays (36 ± 6%). MCs were found only among sites from closed bays and concentrations ranged from 0.4 to 13 ?g L-1 MC-LR equiv. and coincided with high abundance of Microcystis spp. It is concluded that the level of water exchange from individual bays to the main basin is an important factor influencing eutrophication and microcystin production in nearshore habitats of Lake Victoria.
Project description:Gravity-driven membrane (GDM) ultrafiltration systems require little maintenance: they operate without electricity at ultra-low pressure in dead-end mode and without control of the biofilm formation. These systems are already in use for water purification in some regions of the world where adequate treatment and distribution of drinking water is not readily available. However, many water bodies worldwide exhibit harmful blooms of cyanobacteria that severely lower the water quality due to the production of toxic microcystins (MCs). We studied the performance of a GDM system during an artificial Microcystis aeruginosa bloom in lake water and its simulated collapse (i.e., the massive release of microcystins) over a period of 21 days. Presence of live or destroyed cyanobacterial cells in the feed water decreased the permeate flux in the Microcystis treatments considerably. At the same time, the microbial biofilms on the filter membranes could successfully reduce the amount of microcystins in the filtrate below the critical threshold concentration of 1 µg L(-1) MC for human consumption in three out of four replicates after 15 days. We found pronounced differences in the composition of bacterial communities of the biofilms on the filter membranes. Bacterial genera that could be related to microcystin degradation substantially enriched in the biofilms amended with microcystin-containing cyanobacteria. In addition to bacteria previously characterized as microcystin degraders, members of other bacterial clades potentially involved in MC degradation could be identified.
Project description:Massive blooms of cyanobacteria frequently occur with microcystin (MC) production. Cyanobacteria are exposed to copper stresses such as copper algaecides which are often used to remove cyanobacterial blooms. However, copper increased the MC production of cyanobacteria, and the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The present study investigated the relationship between copper exposure (0.5 and 3 µM) and MC synthesis in Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806. The study concluded that the content of intracellular MCs increased by nearly two times both in 0.5 and 3 µM copper. High-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) provided evidence that copper mainly attacked Fe-S clusters, with evidence of changes in iron, sulfur, iron uptake regulators (fur), glutaredoxins and dehydratase genes. The transcription of numbers of genes implicated in iron uptake, MC synthesis and furA was also evaluated with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). In these three Cu treatment groups, the amount of MCs increased as copper elevated. As the expression of mcyD gene was directly regulated by FurA and copper ions affected the expression of the FurA-related genes, we believed that MC synthesis genes were controlled by copper. This study has made a further understanding of the mechanism of the increase in MC synthesis of M. aeruginosa PCC 7806 treated with copper-based algaecides. We aimed to understand the mechanism of copper ion influencing the synthesis of MCs.
Project description:Microcystins (MCs) and nodularins (NODs) exhibit high structural variability, including modifications of the Adda (3S-amino-9S-methoxy-2S,6,8S-trimethyl-10-phenyldeca-4E,6E-dienoic acid) moiety. Variations include 9-O-desmethylAdda (DMAdda) and 9-O-acetylDMAdda (ADMAdda) which, unless targeted, may go undetected. Therefore, reference standards were prepared of [ADMAdda5]MCs and [DMAdda5]MCs, which were analyzed using multiple approaches. The cross-reactivities of the [DMAdda5]- and [ADMAdda5]MC standards were similar to that of MC-LR when analyzed with a protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibition assay, but were <0.25% when analyzed with an Adda enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Oxidative cleavage experiments identified compounds that could be used in the analysis of total MCs/NODs in a similar fashion to the 2R-methyl-3S-methoxy-4-phenylbutanoic acid (MMPB) technique. Products from oxidative cleavage of both the 4,5- and 6,7-ene of Adda, DMAdda and ADMAdda were observed, and three oxidation products, one from each Adda variant, were chosen for analysis and applied to three field samples and a Nostoc culture. Results from the oxidative cleavage method for total Adda, DMAdda, and ADMAdda were similar to those from the Adda-ELISA, PP2A inhibition, and LC-MS/MS analyses, except for the Nostoc culture where the Adda-ELISA greatly underestimated microcystin levels. This oxidative cleavage method can be used for routine analysis of field samples and to assess the presence of the rarely reported, but toxic, DMAdda/ADMAdda-containing MCs and NODs. Graphical abstract Image 1 Highlights • Toxic ADMAdda/DMAdda microcystins (MCs) exhibit low cross-reactivity with Adda ELISA.• A method for oxidative cleavage was expanded to test for ADMAdda/DMAdda MCs.• Two sites of oxidative cleavage of the Adda/DMAdda/ADMAdda were observed.• Oxidation products were identified and analytically tested to quantitate ‘total MCs’.
Project description:(1) Background: Paleolimnological studies use sediment cores to explore long-term changes in lake ecology, including occurrences of harmful cyanobacterial blooms. Most studies are based on single cores, assuming this is representative of the whole lake, but data on small-scale spatial variability of microbial communities in lake sediment are scarce. (2) Methods: Surface sediments (top 0.5 cm) from 12 sites (n = 36) and two sediment cores were collected in Lake Rotorua (New Zealand). Bacterial community (16S rRNA metabarcoding), Microcystis specific 16S rRNA, microcystin synthetase gene E (mcyE) and microcystins (MCs) were assessed. Radionuclide measurements (210Pb, 137Cs) were used to date sediments. (3) Results: Bacterial community, based on relative abundances, differed significantly between surface sediment sites (p < 0.001) but the majority of bacterial amplicon sequence variants (88.8%) were shared. Despite intense MC producing Microcystis blooms in the past, no Microcystis specific 16S rRNA, mcyE and MCs were found in surface sediments but occurred deeper in sediment cores (approximately 1950's). 210Pb measurements showed a disturbed profile, similar to patterns previously observed, as a result of earthquakes. (4) Conclusions: A single sediment core can capture dominant microbial communities. Toxin producing Microcystis blooms are a recent phenomenon in Lake Rotorua. We posit that the absence of Microcystis from the surface sediments is a consequence of the Kaikoura earthquake two years prior to our sampling.
Project description:Microcystins (MCs), the products of blooming algae Microcystis, are waterborne environmental toxins that have been implicated in the development of liver cancer, necrosis, and even fatal intrahepatic bleeding. Alternative protective approaches in addition to complete removal of MCs in drinking water are urgently needed. In our previous work, we found that sulforaphane (SFN) protects against microcystin-LR (MC-LR)-induced cytotoxicity by activating the NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-mediated defensive response in human hepatoma (HepG2) and NIH 3T3 cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate and confirm efficacy the SFN-induced multi-mechanistic defense system against MC-induced hepatotoxicity in an animal model. We report that SFN protected against MC-LR-induced liver damage and animal death at a nontoxic and physiologically relevant dose in BALB/c mice. The protection by SFN included activities of anti-cytochrome P450 induction, anti-oxidation, anti-inflammation, and anti-apoptosis. Our results suggest that SFN may protect mice against MC-induced hepatotoxicity. This raises the possibility of a similar protective effect in human populations, particularly in developing countries where freshwaters are polluted by blooming algae.