A newly emerging toxic dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida: natural ecology and toxicosis to fish and other species.

Abstract

Pfiesteria, a toxic dinoflagellate, recently has emerged as a cause of fish kills near the East Coast. Recent research into one species. Pfiesteria piscicida, has revealed a complex life cycle of at least 24 stages. Metamorphosis of one stage to another often depends on presence or absence of fish. Growth of P piscicida is promoted both directly and indirectly by nutrients such as inorganic phosphate and nitrate, as well as organic phosphate, and may be related to effluent-induced blooms. Sewage and agricultural runoff flowing into estuaries often provide these nutrients and may be correlated with the majority of fish kills in the Atlantic coastal region of the US (5). P piscicida is extremely toxic, with a low density capable of killing fish within 3 minutes (1,3,12). Fish exposed to sublethal doses of the toxin have prominent lesions. The syndrome leads to population level death losses and associated economic losses in local fisheries.

Cite this paper

@article{Faith2000ANE, title={A newly emerging toxic dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida: natural ecology and toxicosis to fish and other species.}, author={Seth A. Faith and Carolyn A. Miller}, journal={Veterinary and human toxicology}, year={2000}, volume={42 1}, pages={26-9} }