Can Artemia Hatching Assay Be a (Sensitive) Alternative Tool to Acute Toxicity Test?

Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2015 Dec;95(6):745-51. doi: 10.1007/s00128-015-1626-1. Epub 2015 Aug 6.


Artemia sp. is extensively used in ecotoxicity testing, despite criticisms inherent to both acute and long-term tests. Alternative endpoints and procedures should be considered to support the use of this biological model. The hatching process comprises several developmental steps and the cyst hatchability seems acceptable as endpoint criterion. In this study, we assessed the reliability of the hatching assay on A. franciscana by comparing with acute and long-term mortality tests, using two chemicals: Diethylene Glycol (DEG), Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate (SDS). Both DEG and SDS tests demonstrated a dose dependent hatching inhibition. The hatching test resulted more sensitive than acute mortality test and less sensitive than the long-term one. Results demonstrate the reliability and high sensitivity of this hatching assay on a short time lag and support its useful application in first-tier risk assessment procedures.

Keywords: Acute and long-term mortality test; Artemia; Hatching test; Lethal and developmental/behavioral endpoint; Sensitivity rank of bioassays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Artemia / drug effects*
  • Artemia / growth & development
  • Artemia / physiology
  • Biological Assay / methods
  • Environmental Monitoring / methods*
  • Ethylene Glycols / toxicity*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate / toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests, Acute*


  • Ethylene Glycols
  • Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate
  • diethylene glycol