Histological assessment of selected tissues in tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus Castelnau, 1861) from the Sanyati Basin, Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe: a DDT-sprayed area

  • N Mabika
  • M Barson
  • C van Dyk
  • A Avenant-Oldewage
Keywords: chlorinated pesticides, gills, histological alterations, kidney, liver, p, p’-DDE


A pilot investigation was conducted in 2014 in the Sanyati Basin of Lake Kariba to ascertain whether long-term DDT spraying in the Kariba catchment had a negative effect on fish health. The aim was to assess the health of tigerfish, Hydrocynus vittatus, by means of histological analysis and to analyse water, sediment and tissue samples for bioaccumulated levels of chlorinated pesticides, including DDT. Eighteen tigerfish were collected by seine netting along the north-eastern shoreline of the Sanyati Basin in April 2014 and samples of their gill, liver, kidney, muscle and brain tissue were processed for histology and assessed using light microscopy. No detectable levels of DDT and/or its metabolites were found in the water or sediment samples and only a low concentration of p,p’-DDE in fish tissues. No major histological alterations were observed in the fish tissues. Consequently, there seems to be no risk of DDT exposure following the consumption of tigerfish from the Sanyati Basin of Lake Kariba. These results were unexpected, given the historical use of DDT within the current study area. It is recommended that these findings be compared with those from other regions of Lake Kariba.

Keywords: chlorinated pesticides, gills, histological alterations, kidney, liver, p,p’-DDE


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914