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Sewage sludge toxicity assessment using earthworm Eisenia fetida: can biochemical and histopathological analysis provide fast and accurate insight?

Babić, Sanja; Barišić, Josip; Malev, Olga; Klobučar, Goran; Topić Popović, Natalija; Strunjak-Perović, Ivančica; Krasnići, Nesrete; Čož-Rakovac, Rozelinda; Sauerborn Klobučar, Roberta (2016) Sewage sludge toxicity assessment using earthworm Eisenia fetida: can biochemical and histopathological analysis provide fast and accurate insight?. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 23 (12). pp. 12150-12163. ISSN 0944-1344

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Sewage sludge (SS) is a complex organic byproduct of wastewater treatment plants. Deposition of large amounts of SS can increase the risk of soil contamination. Therefore, there is an increasing need for fast and accurate assessment of SS toxic potential. Toxic effects of SS were tested on earthworm Eisenia fetida tissue, at the subcellular and biochemical level. Earthworms were exposed to depot sludge (DS) concentration ratio of 30 or 70 %, to undiluted and to 100 and 10 times diluted active sludge (AS). The exposure to DS lasted for 24/48 h (acute exposure), 96 h (semiacute exposure) and 7/14/28 days (sub-chronic exposure) and 48 h for AS. Toxic effects were tested by the measurements of multixenobiotic resistance mechanism (MXR) activity and lipid peroxidation levels, as well as the observation of morphological alterations and behavioural changes. Biochemical markers confirmed the presence of MXR inhibitors in the tested AS and DS and highlighted the presence of SS induced oxidative stress. The MXR inhibition and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) concentration in the whole earthworm’s body were higher after the exposition to lower concentration of the DS. Furthermore, histopathological changes revealed damage to earthworm body wall tissue layers as well as to the epithelial and chloragogen cells in the typhlosole region. These changes were proportional to SS concentration in tested soils and to exposure duration. Obtained results may contribute to the understanding of SS induced toxic effects on terrestrial invertebrates exposed through soil contact and to identify defence mechanisms of earthworms.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The financial support by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport of the Republic of Croatia (project No. 098-1782739-2749) is acknowledged. The sampling was carried out as a part of doctoral thesis titled "Ecotoxicological and microbiological characterization of purified wastewater of the city Virovitica". Special thanks are due to the PhD student Slavko Kepec.
Uncontrolled Keywords: soil toxicity; earthworm; oxidative stress; lipid peroxidation; MXR; histopathology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology > Ecology
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences
NATURAL SCIENCES > Interdisciplinary Natural Sciences > Environmental Science
Divisions: Division of Materials Chemistry
Project titleProject leaderProject codeProject type
Substanična biokemijska i filogenetska raznolikost tkiva riba, rakova i školjaka-Rozelinda Čož-Rakovac098-1782739-2749MZOS
Depositing User: Sanja Babić
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2017 10:41
DOI: 10.1007/s11356-016-6097-3

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