OBJECTIVES: Fish can be exposed under environmental conditions to multiple stressors including natural toxins and environmental or feed contamination at the same time. This study brings new knowledge about the effects of controlled exposure to multiple stressors in fish. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that influence of cyanobacterial biomass and arsenic in feed can combine to enhance the effects on fish.
METHODS: Rainbow trouts were sorted into six groups, each with 25 specimens: control group (fed with commercial feed), groups exposed to toxic cyanobacterial biomass (81 mg x kg(-1) MCs of feed), two groups exposed to arsenic (concentration of 5 mg x kg(-1), and 50 mg x kg(-1) of fish feed) and two groups exposed to combination of cyanobacterial biomass and arsenic in two concentrations mentioned above. The experiment lasted 30 days. During the experiment we evaluated the influence of co-exposure on plasmatic parameters mentioned above. Samples were collected on days 10, 20 and 30 of exposure.
RESULTS: Biochemical analysis revealed a significant decrease in calcium (T20) and an increase in natrium (T10) and chlorides (T10) values in combined cyanobacterial and arsenic exposures. Our results showed a significant decrease in the values of magnesium after exposure to higher concentration of arsenic compared to control and feeding with addition of cyanobacterial biomass groups. The changes of other monitored plasmatic parameters were not significantly increased or decreased in comparison with controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirmed the hypothesis that influence of toxic cyanobacterial biomass and a chemical agent represented by arsenic can combine to enhance the effects on fish. This work originally shows that while the single agents in sub-lethal doses do not cause changes in the plasmatic parameters, their co-exposure leads to the significantly decrease or increase of the electrolytes of rainbow trout.