Discovering a Potential Treatment for Health Effects of Algal Toxin Exposure

Microcystins are some of the most abundant and potent harmful algal bloom toxins and have emerged as a public health concern due to the potential to cause severe organ injury including liver damage. While currently there are no targeted therapies to protect against microcystin exposure, previous research found that naturally occurring bacteria from Lake Erie had the ability to degrade algal toxins such as microcystin.

Drs. Steven Haller and David Kennedy of The University of Toledo have made significant progress in discovering a potential treatment for microcystin exposure through probiotics. Researchers ran in vitro experiments on human liver cells as well as model experiments on mice to find out if microcystin-degrading bacteria can function as probiotics to protect against organ damage from toxin exposure.

Join this Ohio Sea Grant Freshwater Webinar on May 16 to learn more!