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Toxins 2015, 7(4), 1374-1395; doi:10.3390/toxins7041374

One Health and Cyanobacteria in Freshwater Systems: Animal Illnesses and Deaths Are Sentinel Events for Human Health Risks

1
National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Research Triangle Park, NC 27711, USA
2
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Agricultural Sciences, the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: John P. Berry
Received: 27 January 2015 / Revised: 10 April 2015 / Accepted: 13 April 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [295 KB, uploaded 20 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

Harmful cyanobacterial blooms have adversely impacted human and animal health for thousands of years. Recently, the health impacts of harmful cyanobacteria blooms are becoming more frequently detected and reported. However, reports of human and animal illnesses or deaths associated with harmful cyanobacteria blooms tend to be investigated and reported separately. Consequently, professionals working in human or in animal health do not always communicate findings related to these events with one another. Using the One Health concept of integration and collaboration among health disciplines, we systematically review the existing literature to discover where harmful cyanobacteria-associated animal illnesses and deaths have served as sentinel events to warn of potential human health risks. We find that illnesses or deaths among livestock, dogs and fish are all potentially useful as sentinel events for the presence of harmful cyanobacteria that may impact human health. We also describe ways to enhance the value of reports of cyanobacteria-associated illnesses and deaths in animals to protect human health. Efficient monitoring of environmental and animal health in a One Health collaborative framework can provide vital warnings of cyanobacteria-associated human health risks. View Full-Text
Keywords: harmful algae; cyanobacteria; blue-green algae; human; animal; sentinel event; ecosystem; health; one health; biotoxin; cyanotoxin harmful algae; cyanobacteria; blue-green algae; human; animal; sentinel event; ecosystem; health; one health; biotoxin; cyanotoxin
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hilborn, E.D.; Beasley, V.R. One Health and Cyanobacteria in Freshwater Systems: Animal Illnesses and Deaths Are Sentinel Events for Human Health Risks. Toxins 2015, 7, 1374-1395.

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