Lambda-cyhalothrin toxicity in quails (Cortunix japonica): performance, clinicopathologic changes and effect of garlic

  • A.O. Omonona
Keywords: Ecotoxicology, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Pesticides, Quails, Wildlife


The use of pesticide in modern agriculture has increased tremendously. Pesticides control harmful pests and also affect the delicate balance of the functioning ecosystem. The indicator species of wildlife, such as quails are sentinels in assessing acute and prolonged exposures to pesticides. Lambda-cyhalothrin LCT is the active agent present in many insecticides used to control agricultural pest in Nigeria. Garlic contains a variety of effective compounds needed to increase the welfare of livestock. This study investigates the impact of chronic toxicity of the natural pyrethrin (LCT) on wildlife sentinels and the ameliorative effect of garlic.

Forty quails were exposed to LCT, and to garlic for duration of 6 weeks at different ages. They were divided into 5 groups of 4 birds each according to age (6 and 8 weeks). Blood samples were analyzed using the microhaematocrit and cyanmethaemoglobin methods. Cholinesterase (AchE) was quantified as butyryl cholinesterase activity, oxidative stress markers assayed and tissue changes examined microscopically.

Clinically, there was increased pecking and the rate of food consumption of the quails increased.There was loss of plumage and an increase in faecal droppings of the quails. There was significant change in haematological parameters in the 8 week old quails (p<0.05). The 6 weeks old quails exposed to LCT showed increase in all the parameters except for the lymphocytes and eosinophil that exhibit a mild but continuous decrease. The 8 weeks old showed granulocytopenia and thrombocytopenia. The effect of garlic was also shown on the quails exposed to LCT as there was an increase in the lymphocytes and eosinophil. There was marked decrease in cholinesterase activity and an increase in malonyl aldehyde (MDA) in the LCT only exposed group (p<0.05). Microscopically, there was denudation of villi, cellular debri and infiltrates in lumen of the intestine. Pulmonary congestion and edema in air spaces of the lungs. Severe diffuse vacuolation of hepatocytes in the liver and neuronal necrosis and vascular edema in the brain.

LCT induced moderate toxicity and garlic increased cellular response in the quails. There is need for policy and research in areas of ecotoxicology and environmental pollution of pesticides with adverse consequence on wildlife conservation.

Keyword: Ecotoxicology, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Pesticides, Quails, Wildlife


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-5125