Development of toxicity identification evaluation procedures for pyrethroid detection using esterase activity

Craig E. Wheelock, Jeff L. Miller, Mike J. Miller, Shirley J. Gee, Guomin Shan, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Recent agrochemical usage patterns suggest that the use of organophosphate (OP) pesticides will decrease, resulting in a concomitant increase in pyrethroid usage. Pyrethroids are known for their potential toxicity to aquatic invertebrates and many fish species. Current toxicity identification evaluation (TIE) techniques are able to detect OPs, but have not been optimized for pyrethroids. Organophosphate identification methods depend upon the use of piperonyl butoxide (PBO) to identify OP-induced toxicity. However, the use of PBO in TIE assays will be confounded by the co-occurrence of OPs and pyrethroids in receiving waters. It is necessary, therefore, to develop new TIE procedures for pyrethroids. This study evaluated the use of a pyrethroid-specific antibody, PBO, and carboxylesterase activity to identify pyrethroid toxicity in aquatic toxicity testing with Ceriodaphnia dubia. The antibody caused significant mortality to the C. dubia. Piperonyl butoxide synergized pyrethroid-associated toxicity, but this effect may be difficult to interpret in the presence of OPs and pyrethroids. Carboxylesterase activity removed pyrethroid-associated toxicity in a dose-dependent manner and did not compromise OP toxicity, suggesting that carboxylesterase treatment will not interfere with TIE OP detection methods. These results indicate that the addition of carboxylesterase to TIE procedures can be used to detect pyrethroids in aquatic samples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2699-2708
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • Ceriodaphnia dubia
  • Esterase
  • Organophosphate
  • Pyrethroid
  • Toxicity identification evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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