Cyanotoxins in Suez drinking water sources
Zdravka Do-Quang of Suez Environnement presented their research on toxic cyanobacteria.
This is of importance for Suez so as to keep close watch on the quality of their sources. As a first step, they established which toxins are the most relevant for the development of detection methods, on the basis of health risks, regulatory framework and analytical methods. Microcystin, anatoxin and cylindrospermopsin emerged as the most relevant. For these toxins – or actually the genes that code for their production – the researchers developed qPCR methods, which they then tested, first in the lab and then in practice. The methods were both specific and sensitive, and corresponded relatively well with analytical chemical detection of microcystin. The method is now being applied in practice. In addition, they are currently studying, using a lab-on-a-chip technique, whether an automatic detection system might be possible.