Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 30, pp 30728–30736 | Cite as

Behavioral response and dynamics of Eisenia fetida hemocytes exposed to environmentally relevant concentration of sulfentrazone

  • Carlos Mesak
  • Raphael Pires de Campos
  • Marcela Amaral de Melo
  • Bruna de Oliveira Mendes
  • Guilherme MalafaiaEmail author
Short Research and Discussion Article


Although the toxicity of the pesticide sulfentrazone in some aquatic organisms is known, its effects on edaphic organisms such as earthworms remain completely unknown. Thus, we aimed at evaluating the behavior and immune response of Eisenia fetida exposed to sulfentrazone at environmentally relevant concentrations (EC). E. fetida representatives exposed to this contaminant (for 48 h) were divided in the following groups: environmental concentration (EC1x: 318 ng sulfentrazone/g of dry weight soil) and EC100x (concentration 100 times higher than in EC1x). Based on the avoidance test results, earthworms responded to this pesticide and proved the toxicity of sulfentrazone. The observed immune response induction was expressed by increased granulocytes presenting phagocytic vacuoles and agglomerations/encapsulations, mainly in animals belonging to groups EC1x and EC100x. However, the reduced frequency of plasmocytes in these animals’ hemolymphs suggested that the phagocytic immune response was not efficient to assure 100% survival. Our study is the first to report sulfentrazone toxicity in an edaphic organism, at environmental concentration.


Environmental toxicology Earthworms Pesticides Hemolymph Annelids Ecotoxicology Behavior 


Funding information

The authors are grateful to the Brazilian National Council for Research (CNPq) (Brazilian research agency) (Proc. No 467801/2014-2) and Instituto Federal Goiano for the financial support (Proc. No 23218.000286/2017-21). Moreover, the authors are grateful to the CNPq and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Goiás (FAPEG, Brazil) for granting a scholarship to the student who developed this study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Mesak
    • 1
  • Raphael Pires de Campos
    • 1
  • Marcela Amaral de Melo
    • 1
  • Bruna de Oliveira Mendes
    • 1
  • Guilherme Malafaia
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Biological Research Laboratory, Post-graduation Program in Conservation of Cerrado Natural ResourcesGoiano Federal Institute – Urutaí CampusUrutaíBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Pesquisas BiológicasInstituto Federal Goiano – Campus UrutaíUrutaíBrazil

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