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  • Author: Elenka Georgieva x
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Vesela Yancheva, Stela Stoyanova, Iliana Velcheva, Slaveya Petrova and Elenka Georgieva


Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn) were determined in water samples and five fish organs (gills, liver, kidney, spleen, and muscle) of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) and common rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus L.) from the Topolnitsa reservoir (Bulgaria) in three seasons (spring, summer, and autumn). This water ecosystem is located in a copper mining and metallurgical region. Water metal concentrations were significantly higher in the summer than in the spring (p<0.05). Moreover, As, Cd, Cu, and Zn concentrations were higher than the national limits. Qualitative factors “element” and “fish organ” had a stronger influence on metal bioaccumulation than the factors “season” and “fish species”. In fish, the highest metal levels were detected in the liver, spleen, kidney and gills, and the lowest in the dorsal muscle. Tissue levels were higher in the summer, but in general they were similar between the two Cyprinid fish. Fish muscles had the lowest metal levels at all times, but As and Pb exceeded the national and international standards. Therefore, we would not recommend fish consumption from Topolnitsa, as continuous metal contamination of the reservoir may seem to present human health risk.

Open access

Elenka Georgieva, Stela Stoyanova, Iliana Velcheva, Tonka Vasileva, Veselin Bivolarski, , Ilia Iliev and Vesela Yancheva


The present study aimed to evaluate the current contamination status of Topolnitsa Reservoir, which is located in a region with intensive copper mining. The reservoir has been continually contaminated with metals over the last few decades. As, Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn concentrations were measured in surface water samples and in the liver of common rudd, Scardinius erythrophthalmus (L.), in three different seasons: spring, summer, and autumn. The morphological structure of the fish liver was examined and the hepatic LDH, ALAT, and ASAT activities were measured. In general, metal concentrations in the water varied, but As and Cu were present in all three seasons at levels higher than the maximum permissible levels set by law. The metal concentrations in the fish liver were significantly higher than in the water. Histological alterations were classified as degenerative changes (granular, vacuolar, hydropic, and fatty degeneration), necrotic changes (necrobiosis) - karyopyknosis, karryorehsis, and karyolyzis, and necrosis)); and changes in blood vessels (hyperemia in sinusoids and major blood vessels). Higher LDH, ALAT, and ASAT activities in fish livers were measured in comparison to reference fish. In addition, the ALAT activity in the livers of S. erythrophthalmus from Topolnitsa Reservoir was significantly higher in the summer. Overall, it can be concluded that the metal-contaminated waters of Topolnitsa Reservoir lead to negative changes in the common rudd tissues at the cellular level including impaired structure and enhanced enzymatic activity in the fish liver.