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Chemosphere. 2013 Jul;92(5):570-5. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2013.04.007. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Toxicity of the ionophore antibiotic lasalocid to soil-dwelling invertebrates: avoidance tests in comparison to classic sublethal tests.

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Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Gerbičeva 60, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Lasalocid is a veterinary ionophore antibiotic used for prevention and treatment of coccidiosis in poultry. It enters the environment with the use of contaminated manure on agricultural land. Despite its extensive use, the effects of lasalocid on non-target soil organisms are poorly explored. We used classical subleathal ecotoxicity tests to assess the effects of lasalocid on earthworms (Eisenia andrei) and isopods (Porcellio scaber) and compared the results with tests using avoidance behaviour as the endpoint. The results showed that avoidance is a much more sensitive endpoint. For earthworms, EC50 for avoidance (12.3 mg kg(-1) dry soil) was more than five times lower than EC50 for reproduction (69.6 mg kg(-1) dry soil). In isopods the sensitivity of the behavioural response test was even higher. While the highest lasalocid concentration 202 mg kg(-1) had no significant effects on isopod growth or survival, already the lowest used concentration in the behavioural assay (4.51 mg kg(-1)) caused significant impact on isopod behaviour. Using the avoidance test results for calculating the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) of lasalocid to soil invertebrates, the value is close to the predicted environmental concentration (PEC). This indicates that the use of lasalocid-contaminated manure could potentially impair the habitat function of agricultural soils.

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