Pfiesteria: Review of the science and identification of research gaps. Report for the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Citation
J. Samet et al., Pfiesteria: Review of the science and identification of research gaps. Report for the National Center for Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ENVIR H PER, 109, 2001, pp. 639-659
Citations number
86
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology,"Pharmacology & Toxicology
Journal title
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES
ISSN journal
0091-6765 → ACNP
Volume
109
Year of publication
2001
Supplement
5
Pages
639 - 659
Database
ISI
SICI code
0091-6765(200110)109:<639:PROTSA>2.0.ZU;2-1
Abstract
In connection with the CDC National Conference on Pfiesteria, a multidiscip linary panel evaluated Pfiesteria-related research. The panel set out what was known and what was not known about adverse effects of the organism on e stuarine ecology, fish, and human, health; assessed the methods used in Pfi esteria research; and offered suggestions to address data gaps. The panel's expertise covered dinoflagellate ecology; fish pathology and toxicology; l aboratory measurement of toxins, epidemiology, and neurology. The panel eva luated peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed literature available through Jun e 2000 in a systematic conceptual framework that moved from the source of e xposure, through exposure research and dose, to human health effects. Subst antial uncertainties remain throughout the conceptual framework the panel u sed to guide its evaluation. Firm evidence demonstrates that Pfiesteria is 1oxic to fish, but the specific toxin has not been isolated or characterize d. Laboratory and field evidence indicate that the organism has a complex l ife cycle. The consequences of human exposure to Pfiesteria toxin and the m agnitude of the human health problem remain obscure. The patchwork of appro aches used in clinical evaluation and surrogate measures of exposure to the toxin are major limitations of this work. To protect public health, the pa nel suggests that priority be given research that will provide better insig ht into the effects of Pfiesteria on human health. Key gaps include the ide ntity and mechanism of action cf the toxin(s), the incomplete description o f effects of exposure in invertebrates, fish, and humans, and the nature an d extent of exposures that place people at risk.