Toxicology and wildlife: emergent contaminants

A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
During the course, information will be provided on the toxicological effects of emerging contaminants, such as Endocrine Disruptors (EDs), on wild fauna. The origin of these substances is to be attributed to the massive use of pesticides, to extraordinary events such as oil product spills at sea and many other human activities, therefore we will also address issues of wildlife toxicology related to the use of veterinary drugs in breeding practices. A laboratory practise, about the analysis for the detection of a molecule belonging to the EDs in biological matrices, and a visit to an official laboratory of toxicological analyses are provided
Expected learning outcomes
The course aims to provide students with a general knowledge of wildlife toxicology issues, also in relation to a broader concept of ecotoxicology, with particular reference to issues related to anthropic activities. Since the toxicological studies of wildlife often make use of animal intoxication phenomena and therefore are conducted ex post facto, at the end of the course , through practises, the students will also have a picture of the analytical methods on animal tissues coming from wild animals and on the organization of a laboratory of toxicological analysis from screening to mass spectrometry analysis
Course syllabus and organization

Unique edition

Lesson period
Second semester
Course syllabus
The toxicology of wild animals and the differences with the toxicology of domestic animals.
History of wildlife toxicology: from the first cases of poisoning reported in the chronicles, to the '60 of the last century, when the emerging contaminants began to be recognized and subsequently evaluated.
Endocrine disruptors and their toxicological importance.
Effects on organochlorine pesticides on wildlife. Effects of other pesticides: organophosphorus compounds.
The dioxins and the PCBs; the latter recognized as responsible for effects previously attributed to DDT and its metabolites.
New and emerging flame retardants. PBB and PBDE organobromurates. Perfluoroalkyl substances.
NSAIDs responsible for renal toxicity on predatory birds: the risk for vultures and eagles.
Environmental catastrophes: the release of oil products at sea and on the coasts
The methods of residue analysis according to the methods validation criteria adopted in the EU. HPLC MS extraction and analysis of a sample.
Visit to an accredited laboratory for toxicological analysis. Demonstration of the various types of analysis applicable to the search for toxic or pharmacological residues in animal matrices: from screening to confirmatory analysis in LC or GC coupled with low or high resolution mass spectrometry.
Prerequisites for admission
No particular prerequisites are required.
Teaching methods
Lessons supported by slides, concerning the whole course program. Laboratory toxicological analyses. Visit to an accredited laboratory for toxicological analysis: from screening to mass spectrometry analysis.
Slides on Ariel (as a starting point for the slides, the scientific work: B.A.Rattner, Hystory of wildlife toxicology ; Ecotoxicology, 18: 773-783, 2009; was used, expanding it with the necessary notions).
Assessement methods and criteria
The exam consists of an oral test.
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours
Professor: Arioli Francesco
on demand
VESPA building, ground floor