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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Feb;45(2):210-5. Epub 2006 Aug 30.

Detection of micronucleus and abnormal nucleus in erythrocytes from the gill and kidney of Labeo bata cultivated in sewage-fed fish farms.

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Department of Environmental Science, Calcutta University College of Science, 35 Ballygunge Circular Road, Kolkata 700 019, India.


Determination of genotoxic effect in fish, micronucleus test as well as the study of the abnormal shape of nuclei is a suitable measure, in which the presence or absence of genotoxins can be detected in water. In the present study, micronuclei and abnormal nuclei frequencies were scored in the gill and kidney erythrocytes of the fish Labeo bata grown in the sewage-fed fish farms of East Calcutta wetlands. Three experimental sites were chosen, namely, Bantala, Chowbaga and Chingrihata (basically these sites have sewage-fed fishponds), which were compared with fishponds of no sewage influence as the control area. Highly significant differences (P<0.001) were noticed for micronucleus frequencies in the gill and kidney erythrocytes of experimental fishes, where kidney erythrocytes showed an increased value than gill erythrocytes without any statistical differences. The frequencies of nuclear abnormalities such as necrotic cells, apoptotic cells, notch nucleated cells and binucleated cells were also counted separately for gill and kidney erythrocytes, in which significantly (P<0.001, P<0.01, P<0.05) increased values were obtained in comparison to control populations. These genotoxicity results confirmed that the sewage-fed ponds contain genotoxic metals such as Cr, Zn, Cu, Pb, Mn, Fe through wastewater and sludge because of the direct use of sewage water without pretreatment which may lead to health risks among humans through chronic consumption of fish from these experimental fish ponds. Other vertebrates grown in sewage-fed ponds may also suffer a certain amount of genotoxic substances.

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