Abstract Title:

Temperature rise and microplastics interact with the toxicity of the antibiotic cefalexin to juveniles of the common goby (Pomatoschistus microps): Post-exposure predatory behaviour, acetylcholinesterase activity and lipid peroxidation.

Abstract Source:

Aquat Toxicol. 2016 Nov ;180:173-185. Epub 2016 Sep 24. PMID: 27721112

Abstract Author(s):

Elsa Fonte, Pedro Ferreira, Lúcia Guilhermino

Article Affiliation:

Elsa Fonte


The goal of this study was to investigate the toxicity of cefalexin to Pomatoschistus microps juveniles in relation to the presence of microplastics in the water and temperature rise. After acclimatization, groups of wild juveniles were exposed for 96h to artificial salt water (control), microplastics alone (0.184mg/l), cefalexin alone (1.3-10mg/l) and in mixture with microplastics (cefalexin: 1.3-10mg/l; microplastics: 0.184mg/l) at 20 and 25°C. Effect criteria were mortality, post-exposure predatory performance (PEPP), acetylcholinesterase activity (AChE) and lipid peroxidation levels (LPO). At 20°C, concentrations of cefalexin alone≥5mg/l significantly reduced PEPP (up to 56%; 96h-EC=8.4mg/l), indicating toxicity of the antibiotic to juveniles after short-term exposure to water concentrations in the low ppm range. At 20°C, fish exposed to microplastics alone did not have significant differences in any of the parameters tested relative to the control group but tended to have an inhibition of the PEPP (23%) and AChE (21%); at 25°C, microplastics alone caused mortality (33%) and PEPP inhibition (28%). Thus, microplastics are toxic to P. microps juveniles. At 20°C, under simultaneous exposure to cefalexin and microplastics, the PEPP was significantly reduced (at cefalexin concentrations≥1.25mg/l). Moreover, at 25°C, the toxicity curves of cefalexin (PEPP based), alone and in mixture with microplastics, were significantly different (p<0.05; 96h-ECof 3.8 and 5.2mg/l, respectively), and the integrated data analysis indicated significant interactions between the two substances for all biomarkers. Thus, the presence of microplastics in the water influenced the toxicity of cefalexin. The rise of water temperature (from 20°C to 25°C), increased the microplastics-induced mortality (from 8 to 33%), and the inhibitory effects of cefalexin on the PEPP (up to 70%). Significant differences (p<0.05) between the toxicity curves of cefalexin alone at distinct temperatures were found, with a lower 96h-ECat 25°C (3.8mg/l) than at 20°C (8.4mg/l). Moreover, at 25°C, increases of AChE activity (14%) and LPO (72%) in fish exposed to the mixture treatment containing the highest cefalexin concentration were found, and the integrated analysis of data indicated significant interactions between cefalexin and temperature for PEPP, and among all stressors for LPO. Thus, the temperature rise increased the toxicity of microplastics and of cefalexin, alone and in mixture with microplastics, to P. microps juveniles. These findings raise concern on the long-term exposure of wild populations to complex mixturesof pollutants, likely decreasing their fitness, and highlight the need of more research on the combined effects of widely used pharmaceuticals, microplastics and temperature increase on wild species to improve environmental and human risk assessments of chemicals and their safe use under a global warming scenario.

Study Type : Animal Study, Environmental
Additional Links
Additional Keywords : Environmental Pollution, Microplastic
Problem Substances : Antibiotics : CK(703) : AC(132)

Print Options

Key Research Topics

Sayer Ji
Founder of GreenMedInfo.com

Subscribe to our informative Newsletter & get Nature's Evidence-Based Pharmacy

Our newsletter serves 500,000 with essential news, research & healthy tips, daily.

Download Now

500+ pages of Natural Medicine Alternatives and Information.

This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

© Copyright 2008-2021 GreenMedInfo.com, Journal Articles copyright of original owners, MeSH copyright NLM.