Evaluation of planktonic cyanobacteria in Peruvian freshwater lentic water bodies: prevalence and regulatory framework to aid policy making

Anthony Salazar-Torres, Danny Robles, Alonso Reyes, Mónica C. Santa-Maria, Patrick Venail

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Increasing reports of cyanobacteria or cyanotoxins around the world expose a major threat for the environment, animal, and human health. Current water treatment processes are ineffective at eliminating cyanotoxins; hence, risk management relies mostly on early detection and on the development of specific regulatory frameworks. In developed countries, well-documented monitoring activities offer a good assessment of the cyanobacterial and/or cyanotoxin status and are used to prevent intoxications. In developing countries such as Peru, despite their potential threat to the environment and public health, cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins are still poorly studied. We found that the regulatory measures regarding cyanobacteria and/or cyanotoxin are almost non-existent. We also present and discuss some examples of recent monitoring efforts underwent by isolated local authorities and scientific reports that, whereas limited, may provide some important insights to be considered nationally. A revision of the available information of planktonic cyanobacteria or cyanotoxins in Peruvian freshwater lentic water bodies revealed a total of 50 documented reports of 15 different genera across 19 water bodies, including the reported highly toxic Dolichospermum and Microcystis. A unique case of microcystin-LR has been documented. We propose some recommendations to be implemented to improve potential toxic cyanobacteria risk management that include incorporating a widespread monitoring of cyanobacterial communities in lakes and reservoirs used for human consumption via specific guidelines. Aligning Peruvian regulations on cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins to international standards may also support law enforcement and ensure compliance.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number852
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number7
StateIndexed - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


  • Cyanobacteria
  • Cyanotoxins
  • Freshwater
  • Lakes
  • Peru
  • Reservoirs


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