Ingestion of tannery effluent as a risk factor to the health of birds: A toxicological study using Coturnix coturnix japonica as a model system.Sci Total Environ. 2019 Sep 01; 681:275-291.ST
Tannery industries generate large amounts of tannery effluents (TE), which have been considered highly toxic to various groups of animals. However, the identification and characterization of the impact of this mix of pollutants on birds is still highly incipient. So, our goal was to evaluate the possible biological changes of Coturnix coturnix japonica, exposed for 45 days, to different dilutions of TE (1.4%, 3.1% and 6.5%), using behavioural biomarkers, mutagenics and egg production. When submitted to the behavioural tests, quails that ingested TE presented behaviour compatible with an anxiolytic effect in the open field test; absence of emotional reactivity in the object recognition test; reduced rates of predation of Tenebrio molitor larvae (potential prey); as well as an anti-predatory defensive response deficit when confronted, especially with Felis catus males (potential predator). In addition, we observed increased biomass of the liver, increased feed conversion index and lower feed efficiency index; mutagenic effect of TE (inferred by the increase of nuclear erythrocyte abnormalities); reduced productive performance and egg quality, in addition to different staining patterns of the eggs produced by quails from the control group. Therefore, our study confirms the toxicity of TE in C. coturnix japonica, even in small dilutions. While behavioural changes demonstrate the neurotoxic potential of the pollutant, the other alterations suggest that the mechanisms of action of its chemical constituents are not selective, that is, they act systemically, acting synergistic, antagonistic or additively, causing harmful effects in animals.