A known number of Tilapia guineensis were exposed to varying concentrations of industrial effluents in triplicates in plastic to determine the effect of the exposure on the haemoglobin (Hb), red blood cells (RBC), packed cell volume (PCV), white blood cell (WBC), mean corpuscular haemoglobin (MCH), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), differential counts (neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes), thrombocytes and blood glucose. Exposure of T. guineensis to these toxicants caused a concentration-dependent significant (P< 0.05) reduction in the values of Hb, RBC, PCV, MCH, MCHC, lymphocytes and thrombocytes. However, there was a gradual increase in the values of WBC, MCV, neutrophils, monocytes and blood glucose as the concentration of the effluent increased. Results from this study suggest that brief exposure of T. guineensis to industrial effluents could cause some level of stress as manifested by changes in the haematological parameters of fish under consideration.
Rapid growth and expansion of industries in recent years have resulted in a substantial increase in effluents which, are normally discharged into open land or aquatic environment causing a number of environmental problems. Indiscriminate discharge of these industrial wastes has aggravated the problem of aquatic pollution and contamination thereby causing alterations in the national condition of aquatic medium and consequently resulting in changes in the internal mechanism as well as morphological imbalance of aquatic organisms.
The use of haematological studies in fish for assessment of the impacts of toxicants in environmental research has increased tremendously in recent years. Gabriel et al. noted that among the cellular, biochemical, and physiological systems of multicellular animals that can be maintained in ecotoxicology, the use of haematology has some uniquely attractive features. Likely more than other biological processes, haematology is directly concerned with the internal mechanism of an individual, in relation to its survival or essential factor of ecology. Detrimental changes in blood parameters as a result of contaminants are of great ecotoxicology concern because they have the potential to influence individual organisms by affecting their susceptibility to disease.
In addition, analysis of blood parameters will reveal conditions within the body of the fish long before there is any outward manifestation of disease or effects of unfavourable environmental factors. Also, blood parameters can be used to provide an indication of exposure to chemical toxicants and contaminants and predict the toxic effects of pollutants in the aquatic medium.
Tilapia guineensis is a euryhaline species that is commonly found along the coast of West Africa. The species is usually found in creeks, lagoons, and adjoining rivers. Since most industrial effluents are discharged continuously into these aquatic mediums, it becomes necessary to assess the possible effects that effluent may have on a non-target fish such as T. guineensis. The present study was carried out to assess the effect of exposure of T. guineensis to industrial effluents on some of its blood parameters under laboratory conditions.
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