Antibiotics are widely used drugs in human and veterinary health as well as in the food industry. The majority of these compounds are, however, excreted unchanged and found as contaminants in water bodies. Although the toxicity of these drugs was previously studied in aquatic organisms, the behavioral effects of these pollutants have not been fully explored. Here we exposed adult zebrafish to environmentally relevant concentrations of different classes of antibiotics (Chlortetracycline, Ciprofloxacin, and Ceftazidime) and assessed zebrafish exploratory, cognitive, aggressive, and social behaviors. Ciprofloxacin, Chlortetracycline, and Ceftazidime exposure induced hyperlocomotion, which was characterized by an increase in the distance traveled in zebrafish. These antibiotics promoted cognitive decline and exacerbated aggressive behavior. In summary, this study shows that antibiotic contamination may impact zebrafish behavior in a short-time manner.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part - C: Toxicology and Pharmacology, Volume 242, April 2021,