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The occurrence of microcystin-LR in Lake Chivero, Zimbabwe

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Abstract:

Abstract

Lake Chivero is a eutrophic reservoir, initially constructed to supply drinking water to the City of Harare, Zimbabwe. Blooms of blue-green algae have been a problem in the lake for many years and concern has been expressed about the toxins produced by Microcystis spp. The concentrations of the toxin, microcystin-LR, produced in cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa from Lake Chivero, were investigated from March–April 2003. Microcystin-LR was found in algal cells cultured from the lake water in concentrations ranging between 18.02 and 22.48 µg L−1, with a mean concentration of 19.86 µg L−1. These concentrations are the highest recorded to date for the lake, raising concerns about the possible effects of the toxin on the health of people who are drinking the water. Based on these study results, there is a need to control eutrophication, reducing algal blooms in order to prevent their potentially detrimental effects from blue-green algal toxins produced under such conditions.

Keywords: Lake Chivero; health; microcystin

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1440-1770.2006.00287.x

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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