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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