One health and cyanobacteria in freshwater systems: Animal illnesses and deaths are sentinel events for human health risks

Elizabeth D. Hilborn, Val R. Beasley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1374-1395
Number of pages22
JournalToxins
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 20 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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