Agricultural groundwater with high nitrates and dissolved salts given to pregnant mice alters brain development in the offspring

This new paper, at the interface between environment and health, shows that groundwater contaminated by agricultural inputs from the Indian site of Berambadi (M-TROPICS observatory), significantly impacts the brain development of mice when given to pregnant or lactating mice: fewer neurons, fewer astrocytes (white blood cells in the brain), and more dead cells in the brains were observed than in controls who consumed water from the nearby Mule Hole forested site (also M-TROPICS observatory). These phenomena were observed at different stages of development, up to 21 days after birth, which in humans is equivalent to one year of age. Groundwater pumped for irrigation is often consumed by Indian farmers while working in the fields.

This work is a collaboration between IRD, INSERM, and Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore) through the International Research Project CEFIRSE (INSU, IRD, INRA, UPS partnership).

The paper was published open access in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.

More news


In-stream Escherichia coli modeling using high-temporal-resolution data with deep learning and process-based models

Contamination of surface waters with microbiological pollutants is a major concern to public health. Although long-term and high-frequency Escherichia coli (E. coli) monitoring can help prevent diseases from fecal pathogenic microorganisms, such monitoring is timeconsuming and expensive. Process-driven models are an alternative means for estimating concentrations of fecal pathogens. However, process-based modeling still has limitations […]



Overland flow during a storm event strongly affects stream water chemistry and bacterial community structure

As flood events are expected to become more frequent due to climate change, investigating how overland flow exports terrestrial nutrients, carbon and living organisms into aquatic systems is essential for understanding both soil and stream ecosystem status. In this paper led by Huong Le, former PhD student at iEES Paris, the authors assessed how dissolved […]


Decay Rate of Escherichia coli in a Mountainous Tropical Headwater Wetland

Fecal indicator bacteria like Escherichia coli (E. coli) are widely used to assess water contamination, but their behavior in tropical ecosystems is poorly documented. The main objectives of this study led by Paty Nakhle, PhD student at GET in collaboration with iEES Paris, were to: (i) evaluate decay rates (k) of the total, particle-attached and […]