Abstract

Antibiotics (e.g. ciprofloxacin) have been detected in surface water and groundwater for several decades. In order to understand the potential impact of the continuous exposure of aquatic organisms to ciprofloxacin, a chronic assay was carried out with Daphnia magna. This approach allowed evaluation of the effects of ciprofloxacin on life-history and sub-individual parameters (antioxidant status and metabolic response: activities of catalase and glutathione S-transferases – GSTs; peroxidative damage; thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and genotoxic effects (genetic damage index, measured by the comet assay). Life-history parameters of D. magna showed no significant effects after ciprofloxacin exposure. Concerning oxidative stress and metabolism parameters, no significant alterations were reported for catalase and GSTs activities. However, a dual response was observed, with a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation levels at low ciprofloxacin concentrations (<0.013 mg/L), while a significant increase was verified at high ciprofloxacin concentrations (0.078 mg/L). The genotoxicity assay detected a significant increase in genetic damage index up to 0.013 mg/L of ciprofloxacin. The here-tested ciprofloxacin concentrations, which are ecologically relevant, did not cause significant impacts concerning the life-history parameters of D. magna; however, at the same levels of ciprofloxacin an oxidative stress and genotoxic damage scenarios were recorded.

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