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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 373618, 15 pages
Research Article

Occurrence of Toxic Cyanobacterial Blooms in Rio de la Plata Estuary, Argentina: Field Study and Data Analysis

1Cátedra de Toxicología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calle 47 y 115 (1900), La Plata, Argentina
2Instituto de Tecnología, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias Exactas, Universidad Argentina de la Empresa, Lima 717, C1073AAO Buenos Aires, Argentina
3Unidad Académica de Física de la Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas, Calzada Solidaridad S/N, Esquina con Paseo de la Bufa, 98060 Zacatecas, ZAC, Mexico
4Departamento Científico de Ficología, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales y Museo, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Calle 47 y 115 (1900), La Plata, Argentina

Received 28 June 2011; Revised 9 November 2011; Accepted 23 November 2011

Academic Editor: Anthony DeCaprio

Copyright © 2012 L. Giannuzzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Water samples were collected during 3 years (2004–2007) at three sampling sites in the Rio de la Plata estuary. Thirteen biological, physical, and chemical parameters were determined on the water samples. The presence of microcystin-LR in the reservoir samples, and also in domestic water samples, was confirmed and quantified. Microcystin-LR concentration ranged between 0.02 and 8.6 μg.L−1. Principal components analysis was used to identify the factors promoting cyanobacteria growth. The proliferation of cyanobacteria was accompanied by the presence of high total and fecal coliforms bacteria (>1500 MNP/100 mL), temperature ≥25C, and total phosphorus content ≥1.24 mg·L−1. The observed fluctuating patterns of Microcystis aeruginosa, total coliforms, and Microcystin-LR were also described by probabilistic models based on the log-normal and extreme value distributions. The sampling sites were compared in terms of the distribution parameters and the probability of observing high concentrations for Microcystis aeruginosa, total coliforms, and microcystin-LR concentration.