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Tolerance of benzalkonium chloride, formalin, malachite green, and potassium permanganate in goldfish and zebrafish

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  • 1 Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Veterinary Clinics, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
  • | 2 Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Veterinary Clinics, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
  • | 3 Department of Animal Pathology, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
  • | 4 Department of Animal Pathology, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
  • | 5 Section of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Department of Veterinary Clinics, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.
  • | 6 Department of Animal Pathology, University of Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

Abstract

Objective—To determine tolerance of goldfish and zebrafish to benzalkonium chloride, formalin, malachite green, and potassium permanganate.

Design—Tolerance study.

Animals—Adult goldfish (Carassius auratus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Procedures—Groups of fish (n = 10/group) were exposed to each disinfectant at the therapeutic dosage; at 0.25, 0.5, 3, and 5 times the concentration used for the therapeutic dosage; and at the concentration used for the therapeutic dosage but for 3 or 5 times the recommended exposure time.

Results—In both species, exposure to malachite green at the therapeutic dosage resulted in toxic effects, including death. Exposure to formalin at the therapeutic dosage resulted in toxic effects in goldfish, but not zebrafish, and exposure to potassium permanganate resulted in toxic effects in zebrafish, but not goldfish. On the basis of the ratio of therapeutic dosage to median lethal dosage, in goldfish, formalin was more toxic than benzalkonium chloride, which was more toxic than malachite green, which was more toxic than potassium permanganate. In zebrafish, potassium permanganate was more toxic than formalin and benzalkonium chloride, which were approximately equally toxic and more toxic than mala-chite green. Extending treatment time increased the toxicity of potassium permanganate in zebrafish and the toxicity of formalin and malachite green in goldfish, but did not alter the toxicity of the other disinfectants.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that there was no consistency between zebrafish and goldfish in their tolerance to disinfectants, and that therapeutic dosages reported in the literature for these disinfectants were not always safe.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Intorre.