Optimizing the design of a reproduction toxicity test with the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis.
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This paper presents the results from two ring-tests addressing the feasibility, robustness and reproducibility of a reproduction toxicity test with the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis (RENILYS strain). Sixteen laboratories (from inexperienced to expert laboratories in mollusc testing) from nine countries participated in these ring-tests. Survival and reproduction were evaluated in L. stagnalis exposed to cadmium, tributyltin, prochloraz and trenbolone according to an OECD draft OECD Test Guideline. In total, 49 datasets were analysed to assess the practicability of the proposed experimental protocol, and to estimate the between-laboratory reproducibility of toxicity endpoint values. The statistical analysis of count data (number of clutches or eggs per individual-day) leading to ECx estimation was specifically developed and automated through a free web-interface. Based on a complementary statistical analysis, the optimal test duration was established and the most sensitive and cost-effective reproduction toxicity endpoint was identified, to be used as the core endpoint. This validation process and the resulting optimized protocol were used to consolidate the OECD Test Guideline for the evaluation of reproductive effects of chemicals in L. stagnalis.
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