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A sublethal dose of the neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid reduces sperm density in a songbird.

Authors
  • Humann-Guilleminot, S1
  • Tassin de Montaigu, C2
  • Sire, J2
  • Grünig, S2
  • Gning, O2
  • Glauser, G3
  • Vallat, A3
  • Helfenstein, F2
  • 1 Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecophysiology, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland; Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Switzerland. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Switzerland)
  • 2 Laboratory of Evolutionary Ecophysiology, Institute of Biology, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
  • 3 Neuchâtel Platform of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. , (Switzerland)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Environmental Research
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Jul 16, 2019
Volume
177
Pages
108589–108589
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108589
PMID: 31330492
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Farmland bird species are particularly exposed to pesticides through various pathways. Among pesticides, neonicotinoids insecticides are commonly used in agriculture, but their influence on bird reproductive capacities is poorly understood. In this study, we experimentally tested the effects of the neonicotinoid acetamiprid on House sparrows' sperm quality and oxidative status following ingestion of a low and field-realistic dose of the compound. To do so, 56 males were captured, held and orally dosed seven times over 19 days of experiment with either a saline solution (control) or an acetamiprid-saline solution, and sperm samples were retrieved before and after the experiment. The overall dose given to the birds corresponded to 0.5% of the LD50 for the Zebra finch (5.7 mg/kg BW) spread into 7 separate doses and administered every three days over the entire duration of the study (ca. 0.07% LD50 per oral dose). Sperm mobility and sperm oxidative status were unaffected by the treatment, but sperm density was. Birds that received oral doses of acetamiprid suffered a significant decline in their sperm density compared to control birds. This result was confirmed by a significant decrease in the activity of the antioxidant enzyme SOD in the sperm of acetamiprid-dosed birds. These results provide the first evidence of sublethal toxicity of acetamiprid in a songbird and suggest that passerine birds' fertility may be negatively affected by very small doses of neonicotinoids in the wild. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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