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Subacute toxicity testing with young birds: Response in relation to age and intertest variability of LC50 estimates

June 9, 2009

The variability in toxic response of Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) to a standardized 5-day subacute feeding trial was studied while age was increased at weekly intervals from 1 to 21 days and at different times with 14-day-old birds. The objectives were to identify the strengths and limitations of this subacute toxicity protocol and to provide possible explanations for differences in response among the various classes of pesticides. The variables included the median lethal concentration (LC50), the dose-response slope, food consumption, mortality patterns, and procedures of preparing toxic diets. Carbamate, organophosphate, chlorinated hydrocarbon, and organic mercury compounds were represented. A total of 60 subacute tests were involved in this evaluation. The general conclusions of the study are as follows: (1) The basic protocol yields good within-laboratory reproducibility of results. (2) The LC50s increase as birds grow older, and the change was reasonably predictable between 7 and 21 days of age. (3) Monitoring of time-related response patterns, such as food consumption, onset and remission of overt toxicity, and mortality, is critical to the evaluation of potential hazard. (4) Different orders of toxicity may occur at different ages for an array of compounds, but differences do not appear to be large enough to seriously alter the interpretation. (5) For optimal comparisons, all testing should be conducted on birds of a single age.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1982
Title Subacute toxicity testing with young birds: Response in relation to age and intertest variability of LC50 estimates
DOI 10.1520/STP28371S
Authors E. F. Hill, M.B. Camardese
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Series Title
Series Number 757
Index ID 5210267
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center