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Nitrofuran, Its Uses, Sources And Effects On Organism

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Nitrofurans are a such type of drugs that are usually used as a antibiotics or antimicrobials. The structural component is a furan ring with nitro group. The trade name of nitrofuran is macrobid. The mechanism of nitrofurantion is unique in nature. The frozen food industries have become the second largest export sector. Nitrofuran contamination is appearing as a serious problem of this sector. It has been found that nitrofuran is carcinogenic in nature and declared completely unfit for human consumption. Most of our fish farmers do not know about the devastating effect of nitrofurantion. Most of the hatchery owner of our country don’t use nitrofuran for fish and P L(post larvae) production. Basically they use renamycin and OTC for fish disease.

Function of Nitrofuran in Fish and Shrimp Farming

We know that fishes are extremely perishable food substances and the possibility of microbial contamination of fish by unwanted bacteria is relatively high. For this, nitrofuran is used to increase the shelf life of fish because it has some special characteristics. Nitrofuran can inhibit Protein synthesis, aerobic energy metabolism, DNA and RNA synthesis, and cell wall synthesis of bacteria. Thus it slows down or stop bacterial growth on fish body and fish spoilage does not take place.

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Sources of Nitrofuran

Feed Source: The food which requires high protein content are used as food of prawns. The main sources of protein is meat and bone meal which is highly volatile. This commodity is not truly made to be used as animal food but used as a fertilizer and this are not only contaminated by nitrofuran but also contain-fork by product which is declared as banned product in our import policy.

Local Sun-dried Fish: Fish farmers and feed mills are collecting and using local sun dried fish as a protein source which is also a potential source of nitrofurans. The possible of nitrofuran is found at high concentration in low cost prawn feed.

Organic Fertilizer: Cow dung and poultry manure are used as fertilizer in fish pond for higher phytoplankton growth. These are also potential sources of nitrofuran. Because this animals are treated with drugs containing nitrofuran and excreted this manure that is applied to fish pond and thus the aquatic environment introduced with nitrofuran.

Hatchery Source: Nitrofuran are used in some hatcheries for the treatment purpose of brood stock and shrimp larvae. It sustains as residue in the seeds and travel to culture ponds.

Status and Prohibition of Nitrofuran used

Nitrofurans were commonly applied as feed additives for growth promotion and for used as livestock, animal and fish for the treatment of bacterial diseases. But it is found that the residual nitrofuran are carcinogenic in nature and by consuming this nitrofuran contained fish and shrimp product humans become sick. The application of nitrofuran for livestock production was completely prohibited in EU for its carcinogenicity and adverse effects on human in 1995.

Present status of effect of nitrofuran on fish and shrimp product in Bangladesh

Approximately 100 shipments of frozen shrimp products from Bangladesh were rejected by the EU from 2005 to 2009 as a result higher foreign currency earning deployed by Bangladesh. People who earned their livelihood by working in prawn industry became unemployed and faced uncertainty. The price of frozen food that was exported from Bangladesh also fell down by 55 percent. This crisis was occurred in exported shrimp product from our country due to presence and abundance of “nitrofuran”.

Effect of Nitrofurantion on Human Health

Fish and shrimp product are highly preferable to human. But when fishes contain residual nitrofuran in their body, it shows carcinogenic effect and by consuming this fish shrimp product people become sick. When they take nitrofurantion oral capsule as their health treatment another side effect can show.

Lung inflammation warning: Tiredness, cough, fever are some symptoms of lung inflammation.

Liver problems warning: This problem show some symptoms like whites of our eyes, nausea, dark urine, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Nerve damage warning: This problem shows some symptoms like numbness and pain, especially in our hands and feet.

Red blood cell damage warning: Symptoms of hemolysis include tiredness, weakness.


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