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(157) Biotoxins in Marine Aerosol: Assessing Levels of Human Exposure.
Pierce, Richard*,1, Henry, Michael1, Cheng, Yung Sung2, Naar, Jerome3, 1 Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL, USA2 Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM, USA3 Univ. of North Carolina, Wilmington, Center for Marine Science, Wilmington, NC, USA
ABSTRACT- This study was undertaken in cooperation with a human effects study to assess the amount of aerosolized biotoxins to which beach goers were exposed during red tides (harmful algal blooms) that occurred along Florida beaches at Jacksonville on the Atlantic coast, and along Sarasota on the Gulf coast. The dinoflagellate responsible for the Florida red tide, Karenia brevis, (formerly Gymnodinium breve) produces a suite of polyether neurotoxins called brevetoxins. A unique characteristic of these harmful algal blooms is the associated airborne (aerosolized) biotoxin component. Brevetoxins are released into the water by excretion and cell lysis. These extra-cellular toxins undergo bubble-mediated transport to the sea surface where they are ejected into the air as jet drops from the bursting bubbles. With on-shore winds and breaking surf, the toxins become incorporated into marine aerosol causing severe respiratory irritation to humans and other mammals along the shore. Brevetoxins were monitored in water along the beach by solid-phase extraction with subsequent elution into methanol and analysis by HPLC-diode array and mass spectrometry, and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Brevetoxins in marine aerosol were collected on glass-fiber filters using high-volume air samplers, with subsequent extraction and HPLC analyses as indicated above.
Key words: biotoxins, marine aerosol, aerosolized brevetoxins, human exposure
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