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Open AccessArticle

Fatal Neurotoxicosis in Dogs Associated with Tychoplanktic, Anatoxin-a Producing Tychonema sp. in Mesotrophic Lake Tegel, Berlin

German Environment Agency, Corrensplatz 1, 14195 Berlin, Germany
Berlin Brandenburg State Laboratory Abt. IV, Invalidenstr. 60, 10557 Berlin, Germany
Nusshäherstr. 17A, 13505 Berlin, Germany
State Office for Health & Social Affairs (LAGeSo), Working Group Water Hygiene & Environmental Health, Postfach 31-09-29, 10639 Berlin, Germany
Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Robert-von-Ostertag-Strasse 15, 14163 Berlin, Germany
Toxicological Laboratory, Medical University Center, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxins 2018, 10(2), 60;
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 19 January 2018 / Accepted: 22 January 2018 / Published: 31 January 2018
In May 2017, at least 12 dogs showed signs of acute neurotoxicosis after swimming in or drinking from Lake Tegel, a mesotrophic lake in Berlin, Germany, and several of the affected dogs died shortly afterwards despite intensive veterinary treatment. Cyanobacterial blooms were not visible at the water surface or the shorelines. However, detached and floating water moss (Fontinalis antipyretica) with high amounts of Tychonema sp., a potential anatoxin-a (ATX) producing cyanobacterium, was found near the beaches where the dogs had been swimming and playing. Necropsies of two of the dogs revealed no specific lesions beside the anamnestic neurotoxicosis. ATX was detected in concentrations up to 8700 µg L−1 in the stomach contents, while other (neuro)toxic substances were not found. In the aqueous fraction of Fontinalis/Tychonema clumps sampled after the casualties, ATX was found in concentrations up to 1870 µg L−1. This is the first report of a dense population of Tychonema sp. in stands of Fontinalis resulting in high ATX contents. This case emphasizes the need for further investigation of potentially toxic, non-bloom forming cyanobacteria in less eutrophic water bodies and underlines the novel challenge of developing appropriate surveillance schemes for respective bathing sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: cyanobacteria; anatoxin-a; Tychonema; neurotoxicosis; cyanotoxins; macrophytes cyanobacteria; anatoxin-a; Tychonema; neurotoxicosis; cyanotoxins; macrophytes
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Fastner, J.; Beulker, C.; Geiser, B.; Hoffmann, A.; Kröger, R.; Teske, K.; Hoppe, J.; Mundhenk, L.; Neurath, H.; Sagebiel, D.; Chorus, I. Fatal Neurotoxicosis in Dogs Associated with Tychoplanktic, Anatoxin-a Producing Tychonema sp. in Mesotrophic Lake Tegel, Berlin. Toxins 2018, 10, 60.

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