Skip to main content

Effect of Repeated Application of Fenthion as a Mosquito Larvicide on Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Inhabiting Selected Water Canals in Sri Lanka


Health status of feral Nile tilapia following repeated applications of fenthion as a mosquito larvicide to selected water canals in Sri Lanka was assessed. With three spray applications of fenthion to the study sites at weekly intervals at the concentration recommended for mosquito control, condition factor and brain acetylcholinesterase activity of the fish were depressed in a time dependent manner. Prominent histopathological alterations displayed were gill hyperplasia and telangiectasis and vacoulation of hepatocytes. Observed ill health effects of fenthion on the fish demonstrate probable ecological risk to the fish populations inhabiting the water canals which receive repeated inputs of fenthion.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. Bawardi O, Rimoldi J, Schlenk D (2007) Impacts of hypersaline water on the biotransformation and toxicity of fenthion on rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), Stiped bass (Morone saxatilis X Morone chrysops) and tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus). Pestic Biochem Physiol 88:321–327

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Bucke D (1989) Histology. In: Austin B, Austin DA (eds) Methods for the microbial examination of fish and shellfish. Ellis Horwood Limited, West Sussex

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chandrasekera LKHU, Pathiratne A (2005) Response of brain and liver cholinesterases of Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus to single and multiple exposures of chlorpyrifos and carbosulfan. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 75:1228–1233

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Ellman GL, Courtney KD, Andres V (1961) A new and rapid colorimetric determination of acetylcholinesterase activity. Biochem Pharmacol 7:88–95

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Eto M (1979) Organophosphorus insecticides. Organic and biochemistry. CRC Press, Boca Raton

    Google Scholar 

  6. Fukushima M (1991) Fate and behavior of pesticides in aquatic environment: case study of Yodo River basin. Japan J Water Pollut 14:79–83

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Kitamura S (2000) Whole-body metabolism of the organophosphorus pesticide, fenthion, in gold fish, Carassius auratus. Comp Biochem Physiol C 126(3):259–266

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Lacorte S, Jeanty G, Marty J, Barcelo D (1997) Identification of fenthion and temephos and their transformation products in water by high-performance liquid chromatography with diode array detection and atmospheric pressure chemical ionization mass spectrometric detection. J Chromatogr A 777:99–114

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Pathiratne A (1999) Toxicity of fenthion in Lebaycid to tilapia, Oreochromis massambicus (Peters): effects on survival, growth and brain acetylcholinesterase activity. J Natl Sci Found Sri Lanka 27(2):79–91

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Roberts T, Hutson D (1999) Metabolic pathway of agrochemicals part two, insecticide and fungicides. The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  11. Srivastava AK, Mishara J (1983) Effects of fenthion on the blood and tissue chemistry of a teleost fish, Heteropneustes fosilis. J Comp Pathol 93:27–32

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Thomson WT (1976) Insecticides, acaricides and avicides. Agricultural Chemicals I, Thompson Publishers, Fresno, CA

  13. Tsuda T, Kojima M, Harada H, Nakajima A, Aoki S (1996) Accumulation and excretion of fenthion, fenthion sulfoxide and fenthion sulfone by killifish, Oryzius latipes. Comp Biochem Physiol 113:45–49

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Zar JH (1999) Biostatistical analysis. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Asoka Pathiratne.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Jayasundara, V.K., Pathiratne, A. Effect of Repeated Application of Fenthion as a Mosquito Larvicide on Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) Inhabiting Selected Water Canals in Sri Lanka. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 80, 374–377 (2008).

Download citation


  • Fenthion
  • Tilapia
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Histology