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Impact of treated wastewater on organismic biosensors at various levels of biological organization

Topić Popović, Natalija, Strunjak-Perović, Ivančica, Klobučar, Roberta Sauerborn, Barišić, Josip, Babić, Sanja, Jadan, Margita, Kepec, Slavko, Kazazić, Snježana P., Matijatko, Vesna, Beer Ljubić, Blanka, Car, Ivan, Repec, Siniša, Stipaničev, Draženka, Klobučar, Goran I.V., Čož-Rakovac, Rozelindra
The Science of the total environment 2015 v.538 pp. 23-37
Carassius gibelio, Eisenia fetida, albumins, antibiotic resistance, aquatic habitat, biosensors, blood chemistry, carp, earthworms, environmental factors, erythrocytes, erythromycin, genotoxicity, health status, histopathology, oxidative stress, pathogens, pollutants, sludge, sulfamethoxazole, superoxide dismutase, surface water, triacylglycerols, urea, wastewater, zoonoses
Relating the treated wastewater quality and its impact on organismic biosensors (Prussian carp, Carassius gibelio and earthworm, Eisenia fetida) was the main objective of the study. The impact on health status of fish living downstream, microbiological contamination and antimicrobial resistance, fish tissue structure, blood biochemistry, oxidative stress, genotoxic effects, as well as multixenobiotic resistance mechanism (MXR) was assessed. Treated wastewater discharged from the WWTP modified the environmental parameters and xenobiotic concentrations of the receiving surface waters. Potential bacterial pathogens from fish and respective waters were found in relatively low numbers, although they comprised aeromonads with a zoonotic potential. High resistance profiles were determined towards the tested antimicrobial compounds, mostly sulfamethoxazole and erythromycin. Histopathology primarily revealed gill lamellar fusion and reduction of interlamellar spaces of effluent fish. A significant increase in plasma values of urea, total proteins, albumins and triglycerides and a significant decrease in the activity of plasma superoxide dismutase were noted in carp from the effluent-receiving canal. Micronucleus test did not reveal significant differences between the examined groups, but a higher frequency of erythrocyte nuclear abnormalities was found in fish sampled from the effluent-receiving canal. Earthworms indicated to the presence of MXR inhibitors in water and sludge samples, thus proving as a sensitive sentinel organism for environmental pollutants. The integrative approach of this study could serve as a guiding principle in conducting evaluations of the aquatic habitat health in complex bio-monitoring studies.