Cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in fishponds and their effects on fish tissue

Damjana Drobac, Nada Tokodi, Jelena Lujic, Zoran Marinovic, Gordana Subakov-Simic, Tamara Dulic, Tamara Važic, Sonja Nybom, Jussi Meriluoto, Geoff Codd, Zorica Svircev

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    86 Citations (Scopus)


    Cyanobacteria can produce toxic metabolites known as cyanotoxins. Common and frequently investigated cyanotoxins include microcystins (MCs), nodularin (NOD) and saxitoxins (STXs). During the summer of 2011 extensive cyanobacterial growth was found in several fishponds in Serbia. Sampling of the water and fish (common carp, Cyprinus carpio) was performed. Water samples from 13 fishponds were found to contain saxitoxin, microcystin, and/or nodularin. LC-MS/MS showed that MC-RR was present in samples of fish muscle tissue. Histopathological analyses of fish grown in fishponds with cyanotoxin production showed histopathological damage to liver, kidney, gills, intestines and muscle tissues. This study is among the first so far to report severe hyperplasia of intestinal epithelium and severe degeneration of muscle tissue of fish after cyanobacterial exposure. These findings emphasize the importance of cyanobacterial and cyanotoxin monitoring in fishponds in order to recognize cyanotoxins and their potential effects on fish used for human consumption and, further, on human health.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)66-76
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


    • Cyanobacterial bloom
    • Cyprinus carpio
    • Microcystin
    • Nodularin
    • Saxitoxin


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