chapter  20
6 Pages

Immunotoxicology and Wildlife

Recently, the potential immunotoxicity of environmental chemicals in wildlife became a matter of growing concern. Because fish are exposed to pollutants present in contaminated water, they can be used as sentinel animals or biomarkers of immunotoxicity. The epidemic which killed thousand of seals from the North Sea was another important impetus to immunotoxicity studies in wildlife. In contrast, limited information is available on the immunotoxicity of veterinary medicinal drugs and environmental chemicals on domestic animals (Black and McVey, 1992; Roller, 1979). The possible impact of antibiotics on specific and non-specific immune responses was the reason for most studies. Overall, the reported effects in domestic animals are similar to those noted in humans.