Biological Testing and Toxicity Bioassays in Biodegradation: Toward Better Process Control

  • Maha M. IsmailEmail author
  • Mariam Hassan
  • Tamer M. Essam
Part of the Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology book series (MIPT)


The main purpose of bioremediation processes is to eliminate or even to reduce the risk of the toxic pollutants to reach safe and acceptable limits. Although environmental pollutants have complex nature and composition, most of the performed studies reported the application of methods for biodegradation of pollutants and xenobiotics in environment, especially wastewater, as a black box without considering sequestered risks. In this sense, chemical analysis alone is not sufficient for complete assessment of water quality while biological toxicity assays can estimate the effect of wastewater on the biota and assess the actual direct and sequestered environmental risks. This was the main driving force to teamwork in our lab to adopt, develop, and optimize biological testing methods and bioassays for better process control and real monitoring of the bioremediation efficiency. Several methods and bioassays were used such as BOD5 and algal toxicity (to assess the degree of wastewater toxicity), Artemia toxicity (to assess impact on the aquatic creatures), phytotoxicity (to assess the impact on terrestrial plants). Also endocrine disruptors’ assays and cytotoxicity (to assess the impact on mammalians and humans) were optimized. The authors discuss and transfer the knowledge and the step by step experience gained with these methods and bioassays. Moreover, this chapter elaborates all necessary practical tricks and precautions required to achieve accurate and reproducible measurements.

Key words

Artemia Phytotoxicity Cytotoxicity Microalgae BOD Toxicity Endocrine disruptors Pollutants Biodegradation and bioanalysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maha M. Ismail
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mariam Hassan
    • 1
  • Tamer M. Essam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of PharmacyCairo UniversityCairoEgypt

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