University of Tasmania

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Immunity and health of two wild marine fishes naturally exposed to anthropogenic pollution

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 12:28 authored by Sueiro, MC, Cynthia AwruchCynthia Awruch, Gilardoni, C, Demetrio, M, Palacios, MG
There are increasing global concerns of the alarming pollution impacts on marine life, thus it is becoming essential to generate reliable tools to monitor and understand the effects of these impacts on aquatic organisms. We performed a field study assessing how exposure to anthropogenic pollution impacts immunological and health-state parameters and parasite infection of a wild marine fish, the Brazilian sandperch Pinguipes brasilianus. Then we compared this information to previously published data of a sympatric species, the Patagonian rockfish Sebastes oculatus inhabiting the same polluted and pristine areas. The field study revealed that exposed P. brasilianus showed chronic stress, poor immune condition and higher prevalence and abundance of acanthocephalan parasites. By comparing these former results with already published in S. oculatus, we concluded that, although both species exhibited physiological alterations associate to inhabiting sites exposed to pollution, their specific immunological and health-state responses differed. Our results demonstrate that Patagonian reef-fish assemblages inhabiting sites exposed to pollutant are being affected in their immune and heath condition, which could potentially result in higher susceptibility to disease and in turn population decline. These findings highlight the necessity of more studies incorporating interspecific comparisons to assess variation in fish susceptibility in an ecoimmunotoxicological context and get a more profound understanding of anthropogenic impacts on wildlife.


Publication title

Science of the Total Environment



Article number







Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Elsevier BV

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Marine systems and management not elsewhere classified