Parasitology, Harold W. Manter Laboratory of


Date of this Version



Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2009) 6: 2,307-2,331. Copyright 2009, Molecular Diversity Preservation International. Used by permission.


Tilapia (Oreochromis spp.) were collected seasonally from four contaminated rivers in southwestern Taiwan for studies of morphological deformities that could be used as biomarkers of contamination. Morphological deformities found in tilapia were separated into 15 categories. Overall, the prevalence of deformities such as split fins, lower lip extension and gill deformities were significantly related to various water quality parameters, including low DO and high ammonium, lead and zinc concentrations. The persistence of tilapia in polluted waters and the development of a suite of morphological deformities suggest that tilapia can be used as sentinels of non-point source pollution in rivers.

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