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Keywords:

  • Temephos;
  • Abate;
  • Ducks;
  • Toxicity;
  • Cold stress

Abstract

Diets mixed to contain 0, 0.1, 1.0, 10 and 100 ppm temephos (determined chemically to contain less than 0.5, less than 0.5, 0.89, 6.0 and 59 ppm temephos, respectively) in an Abate® 4E formulation, were fed to mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings for 7 d. During this period, half of the ducklings in each dietary treatment group were housed in a heated brooder (39 to 41 °C) and half were housed in an unheated brooder (10 to 18°C). Mortality in all dietary groups in the unheated brooder was higher than in the heated brooder. High temephos-related mortality occurred in the 100 ppm group in the unheated brooder but not in any other diet-temperature groups. Ingestion of the 100 ppm temephos diet inhibited plasma Cholinesterase (ChE) activity and elevated plasma corticosterone concentration and creatine phosphokinase activity, but other selected plasma chemistries were not affected in a dose-related manner. Brain ChE activity was depressed only in the 100 ppm dietary groups; maximum inhibition of brain ChE activity was 48%. These findings suggest that diets containing up to 10 ppm temephos do not directly affect duckling survival during the first week of life and that the toxicity of 100 ppm temephos is markedly enhanced by cold.