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Table 1 Summary of harmful algal bloom (HAB) organisms that pose health threats to humans, the toxins they produce, and the diseases associated with exposure to the toxins.

From: Linking the oceans to public health: current efforts and future directions

Representative organism Toxins elaborated Disease
Diatoms: Pseudo-nitzschia spp. Domoic acid Amnesiac shellfish poisoning
Dinoflagellate: Karenia brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) Brevetoxins • Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning
• Florida Red Tide Respiratory Irritation
Dinoflagellates: Gymnodinium catenatum, Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum, Alexandrium spp. Saxitoxins Paralytic shellfish poisoning
Dinoflagellates: Dinophysis spp., Prorocentrum lima Okadaic acids Diarrheic shellfish poisoning
Dinoflagellate: Protoperidinium spp. Azaspiracids Azaspiracid shellfish poisoning
Dinoflagellates: Gambierdiscus toxicus, possibly Ostreopsis spp.;Coolia spp.; or Prorocentrum spp. Ciguatoxins Ciguatera fish poisoning
Cyanobacteria: Microcystis Microcystins Liver damage