Special Issue "Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Marine and Freshwater Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Steven T. Haller
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Medicine, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
2. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
Interests: The focus of my research is to investigate the pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic mechanisms leading to the development of end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease. In addition, my laboratory is interrogating the health effects of exposure to cyanotoxins and emergent chemicals of concern in pre-existing disease states.
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. David J. Kennedy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Department of Medicine, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA

2. Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Toledo, OH 43614, USA
Interests: heart failure; inflammation; fibrosis; cyanotoxins; emergent chemicals of concern; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; genetics; oxidative stress

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Harmful algal bloom (HAB) events are exponentially increasing worldwide. Globally, more than 40% of lakes and reservoirs in Europe, Asia, and America have favorable conditions for HABs, with up to 75% of blooms being considered toxic because of the release of cyanotoxins. The public health implications of these events can be significant, but there is limited data available on some of the most fundamental public health questions related to health-risk assessment. Some of the key knowledge gaps in this area are as follows:

  1. The health implications of various routes and levels of exposure, including chronic, low-dose exposure;
  2. The development of new technologies and/or approaches (e.g., bioinformatics, “-omics”, etc.) to detect cyanotoxins that may assist diagnostic monitoring, surveillance efforts, or informed management decisions to protect human and veterinary health;
  3. “-Omics” driven mechanistic studies of cyanotoxin toxicity in various organ systems, with a focus on developing potential therapeutic strategies;
  4. Monitoring and modeling cyanotoxin bioaccumulation in food chains and food webs;
  5. Exploiting the metabolic and degradation pathways of cyanotoxins for potential clinical benefit;
  6. Epidemiology and population health measures, including the surveillance and identification of clusters;
  7. Public health policy efforts, including community-level intervention.

In this Special Issue, we aim to explore the contact of humans or other organisms with cyanotoxins, and their fate in living systems. Using the principles of exposure science, epidemiology, and modern toxicology, we endeavor to demonstrate how state-of-the-art “-omics” approaches can help us understand how cyanotoxins affect human and ecosystem health with the aim of preventing or reducing the harmful effects of these toxins. By showcasing how “-omics” technologies interface and enhance other technologies, including sensor systems, analytic methods, molecular biology, computational tools, and bioinformatics, we aim to provide more accurate and comprehensive exposure science data on cyanotoxins, in order to improve and advance health risk assessment efforts.

Dr. Steven T. Haller
Dr. David J. Kennedy
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • toxicology
  • cyanotoxins
  • microcystin
  • human health
  • exposure science
  • sensors
  • “omics”
  • epidemiology

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Protective Role of Native Rhizospheric Soil Microbiota Against the Exposure to Microcystins Introduced into Soil-Plant System via Contaminated Irrigation Water and Health Risk Assessment
Toxins 2021, 13(2), 118; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13020118 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
Microcystins (MCs) produced in eutrophic waters may decrease crop yield, enter food chains and threaten human and animal health. The main objective of this research was to highlight the role of rhizospheric soil microbiota to protect faba bean plants from MCs toxicity after [...] Read more.
Microcystins (MCs) produced in eutrophic waters may decrease crop yield, enter food chains and threaten human and animal health. The main objective of this research was to highlight the role of rhizospheric soil microbiota to protect faba bean plants from MCs toxicity after chronic exposure. Faba bean seedlings were grown in pots containing agricultural soil, during 1 month under natural environmental conditions of Marrakech city in Morocco (March–April 2018) and exposed to cyanobacterial extracts containing up to 2.5 mg·L−1 of total MCs. Three independent exposure experiments were performed (a) agricultural soil was maintained intact “exposure experiment 1”; (b) agricultural soil was sterilized “exposure experiment 2”; (c) agricultural soil was sterilized and inoculated with the rhizobia strain Rhizobium leguminosarum RhOF34 “exposure experiment 3”. Overall, data showed evidence of an increased sensitivity of faba bean plants, grown in sterilized soil, to MCs in comparison to those grown in intact and inoculated soils. The study revealed the growth inhibition of plant shoots in both exposure experiments 2 and 3 when treated with 2.5 mg·L−1 of MCs. The results also showed that the estimated daily intake (EDI) of MCs, in sterilized soil, exceeded 2.18 and 1.16 times the reference concentrations (0.04 and 0.45 µg of microcysin-leucine arginine (MC-LR). Kg−1 DW) established for humans and cattle respectively, which raises concerns about human food chain contamination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure)
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Article
Bioaccumulation and Phytotoxicity and Human Health Risk from Microcystin-LR under Various Treatments: A Pot Study
Toxins 2020, 12(8), 523; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12080523 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is prevalent in water and can be translocated into soil-crop ecosystem via irrigation, overflow (pollution accident), and cyanobacterial manure applications, threatening agricultural production and human health. However, the effects of various input pathways on the bioaccumulation and toxicity of MCs in [...] Read more.
Microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is prevalent in water and can be translocated into soil-crop ecosystem via irrigation, overflow (pollution accident), and cyanobacterial manure applications, threatening agricultural production and human health. However, the effects of various input pathways on the bioaccumulation and toxicity of MCs in terrestrial plants have been hardly reported so far. In the present study, pot experiments were performed to compare the bioaccumulation, toxicity, and health risk of MC-LR as well as its degradation in soils among various treatments with the same total amount of added MC-LR (150 μg/kg). The treatments included irrigation with polluted water (IPW), cultivation with polluted soil (CPS), and application of cyanobacterial manure (ACM). Three common leaf-vegetables in southern China were used in the pot experiments, including Ipomoea batatas L., Brassica juncea L., and Brassica alboglabra L. All leaf vegetables could bioaccumulate MC-LR under the three treatments, with much higher MC-LR bioaccumulation, especially root bioconcentration observed in ACM treatment than IPW and CPS treatments. An opposite trend in MC-LR degradation in soils of these treatments indicated that ACM could limit MC-LR degradation in soils and thus promote its bioaccumulation in the vegetables. MC-LR bioaccumulation could cause toxicity to the vegetables, with the highest toxic effects observed in ACM treatment. Similarly, bioaccumulation of MC-LR in the edible parts of the leaf-vegetables posed 1.1~4.8 fold higher human health risks in ACM treatment than in IPW and CPS treatments. The findings of this study highlighted a great concern on applications of cyanobacterial manure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure)
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Article
Harmful Algal Bloom Toxicity in Lithobates catesbeiana Tadpoles
Toxins 2020, 12(6), 378; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12060378 - 08 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Harmful algal blooms (HAB) have become a major health concern worldwide, not just to humans that consume and recreate on contaminated waters, but also to the fauna that inhabit the environments surrounding affected areas. HABs contain heterotrophic bacteria, cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharide, and cyanobacterial toxins [...] Read more.
Harmful algal blooms (HAB) have become a major health concern worldwide, not just to humans that consume and recreate on contaminated waters, but also to the fauna that inhabit the environments surrounding affected areas. HABs contain heterotrophic bacteria, cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharide, and cyanobacterial toxins such as microcystins, that can cause severe toxicity in many aquatic species as well as bioaccumulation within various organs. Thus, the possibility of trophic transference of this toxin through the food chain has potentially important health implications for other organisms in the related food web. While some species have developed adaptions to attenuate the toxic effects of HAB toxins, there are still numerous species that remain vulnerable, including Lithobates catesbeiana (American bullfrog) tadpoles. In the current study we demonstrate that acute, short-term exposure of tadpoles to HAB toxins containing 1 µg/L (1 nmol/L) of total microcystins for only 7 days results in significant liver and intestinal toxicity within tadpoles. Exposed tadpoles had increased intestinal diameter, decreased intestinal fold heights, and a constant number of intestinal folds, indicating pathological intestinal distension, similar to what is seen in various disease processes, such as toxic megacolon. HAB-toxin-exposed tadpoles also demonstrated hepatocyte hypertrophy with increased hepatocyte binucleation consistent with carcinogenic and oxidative processes within the liver. Both livers and intestines of HAB-toxin-exposed tadpoles demonstrated significant increases in protein carbonylation consistent with oxidative stress and damage. These findings demonstrate that short-term exposure to HAB toxins, including microcystins, can have significant adverse effects in amphibian populations. This acute, short-term toxicity highlights the need to evaluate the influence HAB toxins may have on other vulnerable species within the food web and how those may ultimately also impact human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure)
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Article
Persistent Exposure to Environmental Levels of Microcystin-LR Disturbs Cortisol Production via Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Interrenal (HPI) Axis and Subsequently Liver Glucose Metabolism in Adult Male Zebrafish (Danio rerio)
Toxins 2020, 12(5), 282; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins12050282 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1038
Abstract
There is growing evidence that microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is a new endocrine disruptor, whereas the impacts of persistent exposure to MC-LR on the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis and health hazards thereafter have not been investigated. In this work, adult male zebrafish (Danio rerio) [...] Read more.
There is growing evidence that microcystin-LR (MC-LR) is a new endocrine disruptor, whereas the impacts of persistent exposure to MC-LR on the hypothalamic-pituitary-interrenal (HPI) axis and health hazards thereafter have not been investigated. In this work, adult male zebrafish (Danio rerio) were immersed into MC-LR solutions at concentrations of 0, 1, 5 and 25 μg/L for 30 d, respectively. The results showed that persistent MC-LR exposure caused an extensive upregulation of HPI-axis genes but an inhibition of brain nuclear receptors (gr and mr), which finally increased serum cortisol levels. Furthermore, the decreased expression of hepatic gr might partly be responsible for the strong inhibition on the expression of downstream genes involved in glucose metabolic enzymes, including gluconeogenesis-related genes (pepck, fbp1a, g6pca), glycogenolysis-related gene (pyg), glycolysis-related genes (gk, pfk1b, pk) and glycogenesis-related gene (gys2). These findings are in accordance with the decline in serum glucose, indicating that long-term MC-LR exposure caused a lower production of glucose relative to glucose lysis. Our above results firstly establish the link between persistent MC-LR exposure and impaired glucose metabolism, suggesting that long-term MC-LR-mediated stress might threaten fish’s health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure)
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Review

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Review
Cyanotoxins and the Nervous System
Toxins 2021, 13(9), 660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/toxins13090660 (registering DOI) - 16 Sep 2021
Viewed by 139
Abstract
Cyanobacteria are capable of producing a wide range of bioactive compounds with many considered to be toxins. Although there are a number of toxicological outcomes with respect to cyanobacterial exposure, this review aims to examine those which affect the central nervous system (CNS) [...] Read more.
Cyanobacteria are capable of producing a wide range of bioactive compounds with many considered to be toxins. Although there are a number of toxicological outcomes with respect to cyanobacterial exposure, this review aims to examine those which affect the central nervous system (CNS) or have neurotoxicological properties. Such exposures can be acute or chronic, and we detail issues concerning CNS entry, detection and remediation. Exposure can occur through a variety of media but, increasingly, exposure through air via inhalation may have greater significance and requires further investigation. Even though cyanobacterial toxins have traditionally been classified based on their primary mode of toxicity, increasing evidence suggests that some also possess neurotoxic properties and include known cyanotoxins and unknown compounds. Furthermore, chronic long-term exposure to these compounds is increasingly being identified as adversely affecting human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Risk Assessment Related to Cyanotoxins Exposure)
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