Chesapeake Bay Coastal Bays Rivers and Streams Watersheds
Maryland Department of Natural Resources


  • Review HAB News regarding Dinophysis found in the Potomac River on February 15, 25, 27, and March 4, 12, 19, 2002.

In 2001, Dinophysis was observed at very low concentrations (1 per milliliter or 1000 per liter) in only 3 water samples, all collected in the Coastal Bays by Maryland DNR Monitoring Programs.  There are several species of dinoflagellates in the genus Dinophysis that may be found in

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Maryland waters. Around the world, blooms of Dinophysis can sometimes lead to toxic red tides. Shellfish in the area of a bloom can accumulate the okadaic acid toxins or derivatives of the toxin when feeding on the algae. Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) has occurred in humans consuming the contaminated shellfish resulting in symptoms that include intestinal discomfort, abdominal pain, nausea, headache, chills and vomiting.  DSP from Dinophysis species has not been confirmed in U.S. seafood although the organisms are widespread in the U.S.  Europe and Japan appear to be the most highly affected areas for cases of DSP. Despite thousands of documented cases of DSP worldwide since 1960, there are no reported fatalities associated with the illness.

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