Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Ecotoxicological effects on a food-web exposed to pharmaceuticals: Uptake and effects of oxazepam, fexofenadine and a mixture of both in algae, zooplankton and sticklebacks.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Complex mixtures of biologically active pharmaceutical residues continuously enter aquatic environments via wastewater, where it can affect species through preserved human drug targets or cause unexpected effects in non-target species. Benzodiazepines and antihistamines are two highly consumed groups of pharmaceuticals that have been shown to bioconcentrate in aquatic organisms and induce behavioural alterations affecting individual fitness. Few studies have investigated bioaccumulation and possible ecological effects of co-occurring pharmaceuticals in food-webs. The aim of this study was to: 1) quantify and compare species-specific bioconcentration and bioaccumulation, by exposing a tri-trophic system consisting of algae, zooplankton and three-spined sticklebacks to oxazepam (benzodiazepine), fexofenadine (antihistamine) and a mixture of both, and 2) analyse if exposure to these pharmaceuticals induce behavioural alterations in sticklebacks, by using standardized behavioural experiments. Species-specific bioconcentration of both oxazepam and fexofenadine was confirmed (F3,98 = 3.061, p = 0.03) were algae and zooplankton bioconcentrated substantially more pharmaceuticals (~50-1800 μg kg-1) compared to sticklebacks (~0.1-6 μg kg-1). Uptake of oxazepam in both zooplankton and sticklebacks was significantly higher compared to fexofenadine (p < 0.001).  Zooplankton and sticklebacks retained 16 and 0.3%, respectively, of fexofenadine from the consumed contaminated prey. Sticklebacks showed no direct behavioural alterations, but possible direct and indirect cascading effects might occur in co-occurrence with fish species exhibiting pharmaceutical-induced alterations. These findings highlight the importance of including consumption of contaminated prey as an important exposure route, when assessing effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment. Contamination magnitudes and subsequent effects are species-specific and vary depending on type of pharmaceuticals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 17 p.
Keyword [en]
Bioconcentration; Bioaccumulation; Behaviour; Pharmaceutical mixtures.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105613OAI: diva2:827050
Educational program
Master's Programme in Ecology
2015-06-05, 08:10 (English)
Available from: 2016-07-02 Created: 2015-06-26 Last updated: 2016-10-12Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1058 kB)13 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1058 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Sundelin, Anna
By organisation
Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 13 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 38 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link