Assessment of anticholinesterase contaminants in Ruvu river using cholinesterase biomarker in African sharptooth Catfish

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


A cross sectional study was conducted to assess the extent of exposure of anticholinesterase contaminants in Ruvu river using cholinesterase biomarker in African Sharptooth Catfish. Questionnaire interviews were used to collect sociological data from 200 respondents, also Ellman‟s method and 5, 5‟-dithiobis-2-nitrobenzoic acid chromophore was used to establish cholinesterase activities in plasma and brain of 40 Claria gariepinus. The sociological findings showed that all respondents (100%) use pesticides in agriculture and 62.5% were males with primary level of education (69%). Organophosphates pesticides were mentioned to be mostly used in the area. With regards to the proper use, awareness on the effects and disposal of pesticides, it was observed that most farmer know how to use the pesticides and were aware of the effect of pesticides in human and pests but not to the environment. Also mishandling and poor disposal of pesticides and their leftovers were reported. There was no significant difference between the levels of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) in plasma. AChE and BChE activities in brain showed insignificant difference (P > 0.05) among fish from the study sites and the control. The brain AChE activities were significantly lower (P ˂ 0.05) in fish from Ruvu Darajani compared to the control. This study revealed differences in AChE and BChE activities in the study area. Such differences could be ascribed to the environmental contamination due to agrochemicals used by the farmers around Ruvu river basin.


Masters Thesis


Anticholinesterase contaminants, Ruvu river, Cholinesterase biomarker, Biomarker, African sharptooth Catfish