Where is Pfiesteria found?

Where is Pfiesteria found?

Pfiesteria has been found in coastal waters from Delaware Bay to North Carolina. It has not been found in freshwater lakes, streams, or other inland waters. Pfiesteria has been associated with major fish kills at many sites along the North Carolina coast, particularly the New, Neuse and Ta r – Pamlico Rivers.

Can Pfiesteria live in humans?

But Pfiesteria is the only known algal toxin that apparently is absorbed through skin or lungs, causing systemic effects on human health, including memory loss and other neurological symptoms. Even so, “the evidence of its human health effects is scanty,” notes a CDC report, perhaps due a lack of clinical studies.

Can Pfiesteria kill humans?

In 1997, Pfiesteria piscicida was reportedly implicated in killing more than 30 000 fish and making ill more than 36 people in Maryland. Victims appeared with symptoms characterized by unique skin lesions, respiratory problems, and neurological complications primarily including short-term memory loss.

How is Pfiesteria transmitted?

Under certain conditions, Pfiesteria piscicida experiences a large population increase, or “bloom”. The exact chemistry and biology of the toxin is unknown; however, it is known that Pfiesteria piscicida itself is not an infectious agent; it does not spread from fish to fish or from fish to humans.

What disease does Pfiesteria cause?

Patients with exposure to Pfiesteria toxin have developed an illness, Pfiesteria-human illness syndrome, characterized by skin lesions, headache, myalgias, conjunctival irritation, bronchospasm, abdominal pain, secretory diarrhea, recent memory loss, and difficulties with number sequencing.

What causes ciguatera?

About Ciguatera Ciguatera fish poisoning (or ciguatera) is an illness caused by eating fish that contain toxins produced by a marine microalgae called Gambierdiscus toxicus. People who have ciguatera may experience nausea, vomiting, and neurologic symptoms such as tingling fingers or toes.

What kind of life does A Pfiesteria have?

Pfiesteria is a remarkably hardy organism that can survive over a wide range of temperatures and water salinities. For most of its life cycle Pfiesteria is a nontoxic predator, feeding on bacteria, algae, and other small organisms. When schools of fish are present, Pfiesteria occasionally responds with a quick release of biotoxins into the water.

How does Pfiesteria get to the sea surface?

About two-thirds of toxic species, including Pfiesteria, are dinoflagellates—microscopic, single-celled organisms with tails or flagella that enable them to travel by spinning through the water. While the overwhelming majority of dinoflagellate species are not harmful, some can accumulate near the sea surface and discolor the water.

How is Pfiesteria piscicida harmful to human health?

An unusual toxic algal species, Pfiesteria piscicida, has touched our fears of going into the water. Photo by Wade Spees. Toxic algae can be dangerous to human health as well. Around the world, thousands of people are poisoned annually by eating shellfish or tropical fish contaminated by algal toxins, experts say.

How is Pfiesteria different from other dinoflagellates?

Pfiesteria is the name of a dinoflagellate. Pfiesteria is a microscopic organism that sometimes behaves like a plant and sometimes like an animal. Unlike other dinoflagellates that cause red and brown tides, Pfiesteria does not cause discoloration of the water. Pfiesteria has a complicated life cycle that includes a number of life stages.