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The Tubifex tubifex Assay for the Determination of Acute Toxicity


Milonv Tichý, Marián Rucki, Iveta Hanzlíková and Zdenevk Roth

An express (3-minute) test for acute toxicity determination by using the oligochaete annelid, Tubifex tubifex, is described. The EC50(Tubifex tubifex) [EC50(Tt)] for movement inhibition was calculated by using a concentration–response dependence. The reproducibility of the test was checked over several years and by several workers. Its applicability is limited to compounds which are soluble in water. The calculated EC50(Tt) indices correlate with LC50 values determined by using the fish, Pimephales promelas (96-hour assay), and with ICG50 values determined by using the ciliate, Tetrahymena pyriformis (48-hour assay) with high statistical significance (r = 0.822, n = 35, and r = 0.927, n = 80, respectively). The correlation between the EC50(Tt) indices and rat oral LD50 values (48-hour assay) was r = 0.519 (n = 67). The correlation within organic compounds was closer (r = 0.635, n = 60) than with the heterogeneous series of chemicals. A similar trend was noticed for the correlation with mouse oral LD50 values (r = 0.479, n = 56) with the heterogeneous series of chemicals, as compared that with the series without inorganic salts (r = 0.605, n = 42), and similarly with mouse intraperitoneal LD50 values, where r = 0.543 (n = 50) with the heterogeneous series of chemicals and r = 0.893 (n = 33) with the series of organic chemicals.