Toxicological sensitivity of protozoa to pesticides and nanomaterials: A prospect review

Chemosphere. 2023 Oct:339:139749. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2023.139749. Epub 2023 Aug 5.


Protozoa are sensitive indicators of pollutant toxicity. This review presents and discusses the toxicological studies of protozoa and the toxicological conventional test species (Daphnia magna) by pesticides and nanomaterials, particularly comparing the sensitivity of through relative tolerance analysis, Z-score, and species sensitivity index. The sensitivity of different species of protozoa varies greatly. The protozoa Paramecium sp. and Tetrahymena sp. are not sensitive species; conversely, Urostyla sp. is sensitive to dimethoate and nanomaterials Ag-NPs, respectively ZnO-NPs, and CuO-NPs, fits the use as an indicator species on these substances. The prospects to explore scientific toxicity exposure protocols, expand the protozoan species examined, and screen the sensitive species under the protocols are discussed. This prospect review advances the knowledge for including the sensitive protozoa as an indicator species in comprehensive toxicological analysis for pesticides and nanomaterials.

Keywords: Nanometer material; Pesticides; Protozoa; Species sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Daphnia
  • Dimethoate
  • Environmental Pollutants*
  • Metal Nanoparticles* / toxicity
  • Nanostructures* / toxicity
  • Pesticides* / toxicity


  • Pesticides
  • Dimethoate
  • Environmental Pollutants