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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 59, Issue 4


Total mercury and selenium concentrations in Sarpa salpa and Balistes capriscus and in their respective Digenean endoparasites Robphildollfusium fractum and Neoapocreadium chabaudi from Tunisia

Jordi Torres
  • Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitàries, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII, sn, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
  • Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 645, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Hichem Kacem
  • Laboratoire de Biodiversité et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, Département des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, 3000, Sfax, Tunisia
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Catarina Eira
  • CESAM & Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus de Santiago, 3810-193, Aveiro, Portugal
  • Sociedade Portuguesa de Vida Selvagem, Estaçao de Campo de Quiaios, Apartado 16 EC Quiaios, 3081-101, Figueira da Foz, Portugal
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  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Lassad Neifar
  • Laboratoire de Biodiversité et Ecosystèmes Aquatiques, Département des Sciences de la Vie, Faculté des Sciences de Sfax, 3000, Sfax, Tunisia
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jordi Miquel
  • Departament de Microbiologia i Parasitologia Sanitàries, Facultat de Farmàcia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Joan XXIII, sn, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
  • Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal, 645, 08028, Barcelona, Spain
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-09-20 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-014-0293-4


The present study reports the levels of mercury and selenium in Sarpa salpa and Balistes capriscus collected along the coast of Mahdia and Sfax (Tunisia). The systems constituted by S. salpa and Robphildollfusium fractum and by B. capriscus and Neoapocreadium chabaudi were tested as potential bioindicators to monitor environmental Hg pollution in marine ecosystems. Mercury and selenium concentrations were assessed in kidney, liver and muscle of 51 S. salpa and of 45 B. capriscus as well as in their respective endoparasites R. fractum and N. chabaudi. The Se:Hg molar ratios were evaluated for both species across the study areas. Surprisingly, the Se:Hg molar ratio in B. capriscus muscle from Mahdia is significantly lower than in Sfax. Our results indicate that some parasites may also be implicated in the amount of Se and Hg available in tissues and therefore contribute to oscillations of the Se:Hg molar ratios. In the model involving the carnivorous species (B. capriscus), the 5.1-times higher levels of mercury in N. chabaudi than in B. capriscus muscle in Sfax enable this fluke to be a sensitive biomonitoring tool for Hg pollution. The present results confirm that the habitual consumption of S. salpa should not suppose any potential health risk for Tunisian people. On the other hand, the consumption of B. capriscus may be of concern and further monitoring is advisable, since the Hg average concentration in Mahdia was above the maximum allowed Hg concentration in the edible portion of fish fixed by the European Union.

Keywords: Mercury; Selenium; Se:Hg molar ratio; Sarpa salpa; Balistes capriscus; Robphildollfusium fractum; Neoapocreadium chabaudi; Tunisia

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About the article

Published Online: 2014-09-20

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, Volume 59, Issue 4, Pages 580–585, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-014-0293-4.

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© 2014 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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