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Reference standards for microcystin testing


LGC Promochem and Cyano Biotech - working together to provide laboratories with calibration standards for microcystin analysis.

Scientists analysing for microcystins in water can now source a set of four reference standards through LGC Promochem. Standards of Microcystin-LR, Microcystin-RR, Microcystin-YR and a mix containing all three were developed by Cyano Biotech GmbH, a spin-out company from the Institute of Biology of Humboldt-University, Berlin, to help laboratories analyse water samples for these toxins.

Around 90 microcystins have been identified to date, but it is the potent toxicity of Microcystis aeruginosa that gives the most cause for concern. Currently the WHO has established that microcystin levels above 1 µg/L are likely to be dangerous to health. If consumed, microcystins migrate to the liver via the bile system and can cause liver failure, tumours and even death. Indeed, cases of animal and human poisonings due to the consumption of water containing microcystinal toxins are frequently reported. For organisations such as public health authorities, monitoring the microcystin levels in all areas of water is vital, especially during hot summer months when algal blooms are more prevalent in nutrient-rich water containing high levels of nitrates and phosphates.

Cyano Biotech appointed LGC Promochem to distribute its microcystin standards on an initially exclusive and worldwide basis because of the Company's excellent promotional and distribution network and logistics expertise. These standards complement other ranges of toxin standards available from LGC Promochem such as shellfish toxins.

Source: LGC Standards