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Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2016 Oct;71(3):322-35. doi: 10.1007/s00244-016-0307-3. Epub 2016 Aug 4.

Sub-lethal Effects of Chlorpyrifos on Big Brown Bats (Eptesicus fuscus).

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Department of Biology, Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, USA.
University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 620 S. Walker St., Bloomington, IN, 47403, USA.


We determined dose-response curves for sublethal effects of the organophosphorus (OP) insecticide, chlorpyrifos, on bats. Big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus, n = 64) were given a single dose of chlorpyrifos (nominal concentrations) of 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, or 60 µg/g body weight and examined at 12 or 24 h after dosing. A second experiment dosed 32 bats with 0 or 60 µg/g body weight and examined 1, 3, 7, or 14 days after dosing. Skin temperature and behavioral changes were recorded, and brain and plasma cholinesterase (ChE) activity were measured. The benchmark dose (BMD10) of chlorpyrifos that altered brain and plasma ChE activity at 24 h was 3.7 and 10.1 µg/g, respectively. The 95 % lower confidence limit for the BMD10 (i.e., BMDL10) was 1.6 and 7.7 µg/g. The best of five models (as determined by AIC) for impaired flight, impaired movement, or presence of tremors provided a BMD10 of 6.2, 12.9, and 7.8 µg/g body weight of chlorpyrifos, respectively. BMDL10 for impaired flight, impaired movement, or presence of tremors was 3.5, 6.6, and 5.3 µg/g body weight, respectively. In the wild, impaired ability to fly or crawl could be life-threatening. Brain and plasma ChE activity remained low for 3 days after dosing. Gradual recovery of enzyme activity was observed by 7 days in survivors. Brain and plasma ChE activity were still significantly lower than that of the control group at 14 days after dosing.

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