Helminths and their fish hosts as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution: A review

Document Type : Primary Research paper


1 Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

2 Iraq Natural History Research Center and Museum, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq


Pollution in aquatic biotopes has lately have much attention of many investigators. In addition to those studies concern chemical water, which primarily reports the total concentration of a particular pollutant, bioindicators are useful instruments for assessing levels of biologically accessible contaminants. The study of fish parasites is important not only for fish health but also for understanding ecological concerns. Investigations into the environmental factors that influence metal intake have revealed that parasites are more constant and dependable markers of metal contamination than host tissues. Many parasite species, especially helminthes, were used with their hosts to investigate the accumulation of heavy metals. Therefore, this review highlights what is currently known about heavy metals, parasite species, organs of fish and fish species as bioindicators. Finally, this paper discusses possible responses to the question of whether new, more sensitive indicators for ecological monitoring might be beneficial.