Authors: E. Danilú Couoh-Puga, Víctor M. Vidal-Martínez, Víctor Ceja-Moreno, Flor Árcega-Cabrera, Carlos Puch-Hau, Abril Rodríguez-González, Ana L. May-Tec & M. Leopoldina Aguirre-Macedo


The health status of Sciaenops ocellatus was studied by qualitative and quantitative histopathological analysis through histological damage prevalence and degree of tissue change (DTC) in response to 96 h and 9 days of exposure to 0.1, 0.8, and 8 g/L of light crude oil in seawater. The histology of the liver, spleen, kidney, and gills of the fish were analyzed and compared between treatments. Our results showed that the exposed fish developed lesions associated with degenerative and necrotic changes. The highest frequency of damage and DTC scores were observed in the liver and kidney from 96 h to 9-days post-exposure. Generalized additive models of location, scale, and shape, showed that the DTC was strongly associated with crude oil compounds such as napthalene, Cd, Ni, Pb, and bile polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon metabolites. Our findings suggest that exposure to crude oil affects fish health, producing irreversible histological damage.

Keywords: Fish health, Histopathology, Degree of tissue change (DTC), Crude oil