Cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (CyHABs) are unpredictable and increasing in frequency and severity worldwide. They cause sickness and death in humans, livestock, pets, and wildlife through a variety of mechanisms including the production of toxins. Cyanotoxins are diverse group of toxins which affect the liver, kidney, and/or nervous system, often causing illness or death. Some cyanotoxins may be carcinogenic or promote cancer. Cyanobacterial intoxications cause significant livestock production losses.
Despite their effect on human and animal health, research on CyHABs in the US remains uncoordinated and without unifying objectives. The CyHABs research consortium is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional consortium of scientists with the expertise to conduct coordinated, collaborative research on freshwater CyHABs, from basic science to human impact. This new knowledge will improve human and animal health and promote a sustainable, clean environment.