Assessment of Wastewater Toxicity by Vibrio fischeri Bioassay

Pramod W. Ramteke, Alka Sagar, M. P. Singh


Increased industrialization and urbanization created ecological and toxicological problems from the release of toxic contaminants into the environment. Conventional toxicity bioassays that use animals are time consuming and expensive. The V. fischeri bioassay in which the inhibition of  light emission by V. fischeri is considered a rapid, sensitive and simple test for toxicity as compared to other biological methods and assays using algae, protozoa and fish which require 7-10 days. In the present study the suitability of V. fischeri bioassay for the evaluation of toxicity of municipal and industrial wastewater in Allahabad (India) was conducted. Twenty five municipal wastewater streams in city of Allahabad and industrial wastewater from electronic component manufacturing unit with electroplating were evaluated for toxicity using V. fischeri bioassay. The majority (88%) of tested municipal wastewater samples were found to be highly toxic (EC50) in summer as compared to monsoon season. Untreated industrial wastewater showed high toxicity (EC50 <10) as compared to treated wastewater (EC50 <51-75). The results indicated that the V. fischeri bioassay test is sensitive and suitable for evaluating the toxicity of wastewaters and other contaminants.


Wastewater; Vibrio fischeri Bioassay, Toxicity


Barman, S.C.; Kisku, G.C.; Salve, P.R.; Misra, D.; Sahu, R.K.; Ramteke, P.W. and Bhargava, S.K. 2001. Assessment of industrial effluent and its impact on soil and plants. Journal of Environmental Biology 22: 251-256.

Belmont, M. A. and Metcalfe, C. D. 2002. Contaminacion del agua enla cuencal del rio Texcoco, The first Intercultural Conference on the Integrated Management of Human Settlements Within Watersheds, Otavalo, Ecuador, May 28–31.

Belmont, M.A.; Cantellano, E.; Thompson, S.; Williamson, M..S.; Anchez, A.; Chris, D. and Metcalfe, C.D. 2004. Treatment of domestic wastewater in a pilot scale natural treatment system in central Mexico. Ecological Engineering 23: 299–311.

Bulich, A.A.; Green, M.M. and Isenberg, D.L. 1981. Reliability of the bacterial luminescent assay for determination of the toxicity of the pure compounds and complex effluents. Aquatic Toxicology and Hazard Assessment: Fourth Conference, American Society for Testing and Materials STP 737.

Coleman, R.N. and Qureshi, A.A. 1985. Microtox and Spirillum voluntas tests for assessing toxicity of environmental samples. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 35: 443-451.

Lai, E.P.C. 2013. Bioassay kits for ecological testing of wastewater with nanoparticles. Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry 2: article el139.

Lundström, E.; Adolfsson-Erici, M.; Alsberg, T.; Björlenius, B.; Eklund, B.; Lavén, M. and Breitholtz, M. 2010. Charac-terization of additional sewage treatment technologies: Eco-toxicological effects and levels of selected pharmaceuticals, hormones and endocrine disruptors. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 73: 1612-1619.

Mendonca, E.; Picado, A.; Paixao, S.M.; Silva, L.; Cunha, M.A.; Leitão, S.; Moura, I.; Cortez, C. and Brito, F. 2009 2009. Ecotoxicity tests in the environmental analysis of wastewater treatment plants: case study in Portugal. Journal of hazardous Material 163: 665-670.

Ramteke, P.W. and Kannan, A. 2003. Toxicity of nickel (II) in microbial test systems. Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology and Environmental Science 5: 77-80.

Rodriguez-Loaiza, D. C.; Ramirez-Henao, O. and Ponuda-Mesa, G. A. 2016. Assessment of toxicity in industrial wastewater treated by biological processes using luminescent bacteria. Actualidades Biologicas 38: 211-216.

Szczepanska, N.; Namiesnik, J. and Kudtak, B. 2016. Assessment of toxic and endocrine potential of substances migrating from selected toys and baby products. Environmental Science and Pollution Research 23: 24890-24900.

Weltens, R.; Deprez, K. and Michiels, L. 2014. Validation of Microtox as a first screening tool for waste classification. Waste Management 34: 2427-2433.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

COPYRIGHT of this Journal vests fully with the National Instional Institute of Ecology. Any commercial use of the content on this site in any form is legally prohibited.