Occurrence of anatoxin-a(s) during a bloom of Anabaena crassa in a water-supply reservoir in southern Brazil
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- Becker, V., Ihara, P., Yunes, J.S. et al. J Appl Phycol (2010) 22: 235. doi:10.1007/s10811-009-9451-8
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Cyanobacterial blooms and the accompanying production of cyanotoxins are a serious global problem. Toxic blooms of Anabaena species are common in lagoons and reservoirs of southern Brazil. Worldwide, species of the genus Anabaena produce the majority of the known hepatotoxins (microcystins) and neurotoxins [anatoxin-a, anatoxin-a(s), and saxitoxins]. This report links a bloom of Anabaena crassa in the Faxinal Reservoir, the main water supply for the city of Caxias do Sul (400,000 inhabitants) in southern Brazil, to the occurrence of anatoxin-a(s) in the water. During the bloom period, the reservoir was strongly stratified, with higher temperatures and a deep anoxic hypolimnion. Two methods for sample concentration (direct and complete extraction) were tested, and direct extraction of samples proved to be more efficient. Water samples collected during the bloom showed 9% acetylcholinesterase inhibition at 50 mg mL−1, corresponding to 0.61 μg of anatoxin-a(s) per gram of lyophilized powder. At these concentrations, symptoms of neurotoxicity and mortality were not observed in tests with Swiss albino mice. Although the concentrations of anatoxin-a(s) in the Faxinal Reservoir were low, these results are important because this is the first record of the toxin for A. crassa. Furthermore, this cyanotoxin is not yet included in Brazilian legislation for drinking-water monitoring, because of the lack of information about toxicity levels and risk calculation for oral doses. The data presented here contribute to the basis for the future inclusion of this toxin in Brazilian legislation for drinking-water quality control, and for the development of analytical methods for this toxin.