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Ecotoxicological studies with fish embryos as an alternative tool for the use of animals in environmental assessment

Grant number: 19/16711-0
Support Opportunities:Research Grants - Innovative Research in Small Business - PIPE
Duration: September 01, 2020 - August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal Investigator:Denise Tieme Okumura
Grantee:Denise Tieme Okumura
Host Company:Biotox Análises Ambientais Ltda. - ME
CNAE: Aqüicultura em água doce
Pesquisa e desenvolvimento experimental em ciências físicas e naturais
Atividades profissionais, científicas e técnicas não especificadas anteriormente
City: São Carlos
Associated scholarship(s):21/04278-0 - The implementation of cultivation and spawning of exotic and native fish species in an enterprise scale, BP.TT
20/11066-6 - Ecotoxicological studies with fish embryos as an alternative tool for the use of animals in environmental assessment, BP.PIPE
20/11752-7 - Ecotoxicological effect of cosmetics, drugs and pesticides in fish spawning, BP.TT


Alternative animal research is an emerging issue in the global scientific scene due to growing concern about animal welfare and the stiffening of laws in relation to scientific use of animals. Today, more and more regulators organizations encourage the adoption of alternative methods, seeking to replace, reduce and refine the use of animal experiments in biomedical research, testing or education. The objective of this project is the implementation of ecotoxicity tests with Danio rerio fish embryos in the business field, verifying the feasibility of including these tests in the portfolio of the company Biotox Environmental Analysis and the implementation of an alternative methodology to the use of the animals themselves. An idea that has been discussed in an academic and scientific environment, but which needs prior evaluation. This is to make the methodologies developed with fish embryos of Danio rerio a marketable product, as well as to contribute to increasing the company's competitiveness in a market that is increasingly ecologically conscious and committed to the concept of animal welfare. However, the tests using embryos still encounter great barriers, since there is great difficulty for the commercial acquisition of fish spawning. Therefore, the implementation of the cultivation of this species in Biotox's laboratory will be of paramount importance. Thus, the present project intends to verify the possibilities of installation of the fish cultures, in an enterprise scale, that make available and ensure the quality, standardization and homogeneity of fish eggs. In addition to identifying possible gaps and adaptations necessary to carry out the ecotoxicity tests, and the readjustment of the protocols for the laboratory routine, if necessary. The Fish Embryo Acute Toxicity (FET) test is a marketable product that would not be only to assist in making decisions regarding the risk assessment of the potential environmental hazard of chemicals, but also in an environmental monitoring mechanism and enhance the competitiveness of Biotox Análises Ambientais in a market ecologically aware and committed to the concept of animal welfare. For this, FET test will be performed with different substances (cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals), which are currently found as the main agents responsible for the scientific use of animals. For comparative studies, will be conducted acute toxicity tests using juveniles, with the same substances used in FET tests. All tests will be performed in accordance with the recommendations of the OECD international protocols and following NBR ISO/IEC 17.025. The standardization of ecotoxicity tests with fish embryos is internationally very recent and is a future trend the increasing of its use both by private companies, such as education and research institutions, as well as by its inclusion in regulatory requirements worldwide. Considering that such tests are alternative methods to the use of animals in scientific experimentation, and that there is no knowledge of any particular laboratory that is conducting these tests in Brazil, the present project will contribute to the inclusion of the company in a relatively new market and provide the implementation of a methodology little known and developed in the country. The development of this project will also enable to the involved researcher consolidating and updating your knowledge, and, will contribute to meet the future demands of the environmental sector. (AU)

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