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Ashraf Alias, Muna Al-Zubaidy, Yaareb Mousa and Fouad Mohammad

Plasma and whole brain cholinesterase activities in three wild bird species in Mosul, IRAQ: In vitro inhibition by insecticides

Plasma and brain cholinesterase activities were determined in three wild bird species to assess their exposure to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides which are used in agriculture and public health. In the present study, we used an electrometric method for measurement of cholinesterase activities in the plasma and whole brain of three indigenous wild birds commonly found in northern Iraq. The birds used were apparently healthy adults of both sexes (8 birds/species, comprising 3-5 from each sex) of quail (Coturnix coturnix), collard dove (Streptopelia decaocto) and rock dove (Columba livia gaddi), which were captured in Mosul, Iraq. The mean respective cholinesterase activities (Δ pH/30 minutes) in the plasma and whole brain of the birds were as follows: quail (0.96 and 0.29), collard dove (0.97and 0.82) and rock dove (1.44 and 1.42). We examined the potential susceptibility of the plasma or whole brain cholinesterases to inhibition by selected insecticides. The technique of in vitro cholinesterase inhibition for 10 minutes by the organophosphate insecticides dichlorvos, malathion and monocrotophos (0.5 and 1.0 μM) and the carbamate insecticide carbaryl (5 and10 μM) in the enzyme reaction mixtures showed significant inhibition of plasma and whole brain cholinesterase activities to various extents. The data further support and add to the reported cholinesterase activities determined electrometrically in wild birds in northern Iraq. The plasma and whole brain cholinesterases of the birds are highly susceptible to inhibition by organophosphate and carbamate insecticides as determined by the described electrometric method, and the results further suggest the usefulness of the method in biomonitoring wild bird cholinesterases.