EU Framework Program


CYANOCOST - COST Action ES1105 : "Cyanobacteria blooms and toxins in water resources : Occurrence, impacts and management" will focus on toxigenic cyanobacteria that produce a wide range of potent toxins with adverse health effects on humans and animals exposed to them via drinking water, aquaculture and recreation. CYANOCOST aims to coordinate and network the ongoing efforts and capabilities across Europe for the risk mangement of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins in water bodies, by establishing strong collaboration between academia, authorities, industry and citizens.

Start of action 11/04/2012
End of action 10/04/2016

Cyanocost Steering Group members :  Link
Cyanocost Management Committee members : Link


Toxigenic cyanobacteria are one of the main health risks associated with European water resources. They produce a wide range of potent toxins with adverse health effects on humans and animals exposed to them via drinking water, aquaculture and recreation. European research in the field has generated significant risk management capability, although this is regionally unbalanced. CYANOCOST aims to transfer this knowledge and know-how to all European regions: widening awareness, spreading relevant technical competence, and sharing risk management expertise. CYANOCOST aims to provide tools to end-users (public authorities, water utilities, aquaculture, tourism and recreation sectors) by pooling and coordinating expertise throughout Europe and to harmonize methods and practices across Europe, thereby protecting public health, enterprises and investments. This Action arrival is extremely timely because new challenges in the field have appeared recently including emerging toxins and cyanobacterial species hitherto unknown in Europe, plus the preparation of new legislation and regulations in some European countries. Over 100 experts, researchers, scientists, stakeholders, from 32 countries have participated in CYANOCOST activities so far. 


Milestones (M) and deliverables (D) of CYANOCOST:
M1– D1: Current situation assessment in Europe relating to the occurrence, analysis and control of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins (WG 1-3) (month 12).
M2– D2: Recommendations for future European research programs and actions, first report (month 24), final report (D2) - month 48.
M3-D3: Handbook of cyanobacterial monitoring and cyanotoxins analysis – first internal version (M3) - (month 28), final version (D3) – (month 42).
M4- D4: Handbook of “Best Practices” for prevention and control - first internal version (M4)- (month 28), final version (D4)- (month 42).
M5-D5: Revised and expanded version of the Decision Support Tool; first internal English version (M5) - (month 28), final version (D5), (month 42).
M6-D6: European Database on cyanobacteria – cyanotoxins: first “beta” version (M6) – (month 28), final version (D5), (month 42).
M7-D7: Book of the Action, draft contents, authors, schedule (month 32), final version – (month 48).


This Action provides an ideal vehicle to extend and increase recognition and awareness of the occurrence of cyanobacteria and their toxins, and to make key management tools more widely available throughout Europe to counteract the adverse effects of cyanobacterial mass growths and cyanotoxins. These objectives will be realized by disseminating the results to the following target audiences and end-users:
- Researchers, especially young ones, from diverse disciplines, as analytical chemists, (molecular) biologists, ecologists, toxicologists, water engineers.
- The drinking water industry, especially scientists and managers involved in water quality control.
- Recreational water facilities managers.
- Aquaculture – agriculture enterprise managers.
- Environmental laboratories both public and private.
- Equipment and materials designers and manufacturers
- Public health and clinical professionals, water district authorities and organizations.
- Standardization bodies (national, CEN, ISO) and national laboratory accreditation bodies.
- Environmental – public health policy makers at national or European level.
- Nongovernmental organizations active in environmental public awareness.
- Regional and national watersports organisations.
- The general public.

Tools and Outputs

Practical materials to rapidly and effectively inform and educate end-user groups throughout Europe of the causes, recognition, impacts and control of cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxins are viewed as key products of CYANOCOST. Excellent examples and experience in producing the necessary guides and handbooks already exist at local and national level among partners. Dissemination and enablement for end-user product generation will be extended throughout Europe, with reference to both shared and specific regional/national characteristics and needs. CYANOCOST applies the following dissemination methods:

- A Europe-wide rolling database which will be an extension of the 2005 UNESCO CYANONET database will be developed and willcontain a “Who’s Who” of researchers,
organizations, companies involved in this field, with extended profiles, expertise, publications, projects, collaborations and contact details etc. Links to national risk
management policies in use in Europe and in neighbouring states - including guidelines and legislation-, will be included. The database will also include harmonized methods for the analysis and detection of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins resulting from WG2 and “best practices” for prevention and control arising from WG3. All of the above information will be interlinked (keywords) so that it can be presented by country, method, type of organization, expertise, etc in a searchable engine.

- A Book for the "analysis of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins" (edited by Jussi Meriluoto, Geoffrey Codd, Lisa Spoof).

- A handbook of the "molecular techniques for identification of cyanobacteria" (edited by Kaarina Sivonen, Rainer Kurmayer, Annick Wilmotte).

- A special issue on "prevention, mitigation and control of cyanobacteria in lakes and reservoirs" (edited by Petra Visser, Bas Ibelings, Myriam Bormans).

- A book on 'water treatment for purification from cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins" (edited by Anastasia Hiskia, Dion Dionysiou, Maria Antoniou, Triantafyllos Kaloudis, Theodoros Triantis).

- A revised and expanded version of the Decision Support Tool (EU PEPSY project, FP6), translated into national languages and available online via link to the database.

- An Action-specific website www.cyanocost.com with updated information, presentations, frequently asked questions, announcements of events etc.

- Published research and review papers resulting from collaborations between CYANOCOST partners.

- Workshops, Training Schools, Dissemination Meetings, Conferences.

- Short term scienticic missions (STSMs) that promote collaborations between researchers from different countries, especially targeted to early-stage researchers (ESRs).

- Twitter and facebook for dissemination of information to wide audiences.