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Biochemical response of the Africanized honeybee exposed to fipronil

Roat, Thaisa C., Carvalho, Stephan M., Palma, Mário S., Malaspina, Osmar
Environmental toxicology and chemistry 2017 v.36 no.6 pp. 1652-1660
Africanized honey bees, acetylcholinesterase, biomarkers, carboxylesterase, ecological value, environmental quality, fipronil, glutathione transferase, ingestion, insecticides, models
Bees are recognized worldwide for their social, economic, and environmental value. In recent decades they have been seriously threatened by diseases and high levels of pesticide use. The susceptibility of bees to insecticides makes them an important terrestrial model for assessing environmental quality, and various biomarkers have been developed for such assessments. The present study aimed to evaluate the activity of the enzymes acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CaE), and glutathione‐S‐transferase (GST) in Africanized honeybees exposed to fipronil. The results showed that fipronil at a sublethal dose (0.01 ng/bee) modulates the activity of CaE in all isoforms analyzed (CaE‐1, CaE‐2, and CaE‐3) in both newly emerged and aged bees, and does not affect the activity of AChE or GST. The recovery of the bees after fipronil exposure was also investigated, and these results demonstrated that even the cessation of fipronil ingestion might not lead to complete recovery of individual bees. Even at low doses, fipronil was shown to cause changes in the activity of key enzymes in bees. The possible consequences of these changes are discussed. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1652–1660. © 2016 SETAC