The acute haematological response of a brackish water cichlid fish Sarotherodon melanotheronexposed to crude oil was evaluated. They were exposed for 96 h to crude oil concentrations of 0, 50, 125, 250, 375, and 500 mg/L of water obtained from the fish source. Haematological analyses were carried out at 12, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h, respectively. Haematological analysis revealed that the red blood cells (RBC), haemoglobin (Hb), packed cell volume (PCV), thrombocytes, and lymphocytes of the control group were significantly higher (P≤ 0.05) than the crude oil treated groups while the white blood cells (WBC), neutrophils, leucocrit (Lct) and monocytes of the crude oil treated groups were significantly higher than the control group, indicating an immune response to the toxicant. These parameters can be standardised and used as biomarkers in biomonitoring programs.
Key words: Haematological response, biomarkers, biomonitoring, Sarotherodon melanotheron, crude oil
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