An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Researchers working on new test to detect cyanobacteria in humans

Blue-green algae play a role in human health and we see what it does to our water. A diagnostic test at a doctor’s office may still be far off but researchers are working on developing a test to detect cyanobacteria in humans.

Coughing, headaches and rashes can all impact people after they’ve been exposed to toxic algal blooms.

Dr. Virginia Roberts is an epidemiologist with the CDC and says that proving that algae is the source of these symptoms is another story.

“We saw that very few people and animals were getting some sort of diagnostic testing conducted,” said Dr. Roberts. “There are big limitations with being able to go to a doctor and get tested.”

“It is really an important area – the idea of developing those tests – making sure that they work well, and getting them out so that public health laboratories and clinicians and others will eventually have more access to that kind of testing,” Dr. Roberts said.