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Chemosphere

The effects of the nitrofuran furaltadone on Ulva lactuca.


PMID 21109284

Abstract

The use of pharmaceuticals in the food production industry as prophylatic and therapeutic agents is necessary to promote animal health, but may entail significant consequences to natural ecosystems, especially in the cases of overdosing and use of banned pharmaceuticals. The vast effects that antibiotics released into the environment have on non-target organisms are already under the scope of researchers but little attention has been given to primary producers such as macroalgae. The present study assessed furaltadone's, an antibacterial agent illegally used for veterinary purposes, uptake capacity by Ulva lactuca and its effect in the growth of this cosmopolitan macroalgae. Differences in macroalgal growth were shown when submitted to prophylactic and therapeutic concentrations of furaltadone in the water (16 and 32 μg mL⁻¹, respectively). The therapeutic concentration caused higher growth impairment than the prophylactic treatment did, with 87.5% and 58% reductions respectively. Furthermore, together with data collected from the accumulation assays, with values of internal concentrations as high as 18.84 μg g⁻¹ WW, suggest that the macroalgae U. lactuca should be included in field surveys as a biomonitor for the detection of nitrofurans.

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