Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 16, pp 15404–15410 | Cite as

Nephrotoxicity in Hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) living near a phosphate treatment factory complex in southern Tunisia: a biochemical and histological study

  • Nahed Amri
  • Tarek Rebai
  • Neila Jardak
  • Riadh Badraoui
Research Article


Our study was designed to evaluate impacts of exposure to pollutants, released by the Gabès–Ghannouche factory complex of phosphate treatment, on biochemical biomarkers and histopathological indices in kidney tissues of Hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus × Passer hispaniolensis) in Gabès city. Our results show evidence of a pronounced impairment in kidney function which is confirmed by remarkable blood chemical alterations in sparrows living in Ghannouche, the most polluted site. Moreover, superoxide dismutase and catalase activities were found to be decreased in birds sampled from the contaminated site when compared to less polluted areas. The population of sparrows feeding in Ghannouche had enhanced renal thiobarbituric acid reactive substance levels, indicating oxidative damage to membrane lipids. Some histopathological alterations were also observed including kidney interstitial dilatations. Overall, our findings demonstrated that the exposure to pollutants released by the factory complex possessed nephrotoxic by depleting renal antioxidant defense system and promoting kidney morphometric damage in sparrows. These results constitute an early warning of an ecological change in relation to human health.


Pollution Biomarkers Ecotoxicology Hybrid sparrow Kidney Gabès 













Nephrosomatic index




Urinary pole


Vascular pole


Reactive oxygen species


Superoxide dismutase


Renal tubule


Thiobarbituric acid


Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances


Funding information

This work was supported by the Tunisian ministry of high education and carried out in the research unit 12ES15 of the Medicine Faculty of Sfax University.

Compliance with ethical standards

We assured that all the experimental protocols were conducted in compliance with the guidelines of the local Institute Ethical committee for the care and use of laboratory animals (License number 947/17-04-2014).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nahed Amri
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tarek Rebai
    • 1
  • Neila Jardak
    • 1
  • Riadh Badraoui
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Laboratory of Histo-Embryology and CytogeneticsMedicine Faculty of Sfax UniversitySfaxTunisia
  2. 2.Department of BiologyFaculty of Sciences of Gabès UniversityGabèsTunisia
  3. 3.Laboratory of Histology-CytologyMedicine Faculty of Tunis El Manar UniversityTunisTunisia

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