Little is known about sublethal effects on birds of low level exposure to oil. White blood cell parameters (total leukocyte counts and/or differentials) were measured in blood samples from Common Terns (Sterna hirundo; n = 71) exposed to low levels of oil from an oil spill in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, in 2003. Data from Common Terns (n = 16) sampled at the same site in a non-spill year were used for reference. Total leukocytes and lymphocytes were severely depressed when individuals were first sampled, 14–20 days after the spill, and returned to near to or above reference levels by day 39. Heterophils and heterophil/lymphocyte ratios were markedly elevated 14–20 days after the spill, and returned to below reference levels by day 39. These changes were closely parallel to changes in hematocrit in the same birds, but hematocrits were not correlated with white blood cell parameters, suggesting that mechanisms of action were different. The combination of immune suppression and anemia during the physiologically demanding period prior to and during egg-laying is likely to have caused adverse effects on reproduction.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 38 • No. 4