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Cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharides and human health – a review

By Ian Stewart, Philip J Schluter and Glen R Shaw

Abstract

Cyanobacterial lipopolysaccharide/s (LPS) are frequently cited in the cyanobacteria literature as toxins responsible for a variety of heath effects in humans, from skin rashes to gastrointestinal, respiratory and allergic reactions. The attribution of toxic properties to cyanobacterial LPS dates from the 1970s, when it was thought that lipid A, the toxic moiety of LPS, was structurally and functionally conserved across all Gram-negative bacteria. However, more recent research has shown that this is not the case, and lipid A structures are now known to be very different, expressing properties ranging from LPS agonists, through weak endotoxicity to LPS antagonists. Although cyanobacterial LPS is widely cited as a putative toxin, most of the small number of formal research reports describe cyanobacterial LPS as weakly toxic compared to LPS from the Enterobacteriaceae

Topics: Review
Publisher: BioMed Central
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:1489932
Provided by: PubMed Central
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