Heavy metal analysis of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) infected by liver flukes (Fasciola gigantica)

Date of Publication


Document Type

Bachelor's Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Biology

Subject Categories



College of Science



Thesis Adviser

Mary Jane C. Flores


The study aimed to identify the species of liver flukes present in the liver tissue of water buffaloes and determine the concentration of heavy metals (cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc) present in both the liver tissue and liver flukes using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. It also aimed to determine if liver flukes could serve as a potential bioaccumulator of heavy metals. About 1334 flukes were extracted from 15 livers and results showed that Fasciola gigantica was the species present in all the livers collected. Both the F. gigantica and the liver tissue yielded a positive concentration for all the metals. However, due to the wide spread of pooled liver fluke samples per liver sample, the preferred range of liver flukes per liver sample was generated using BoxPlot to determine which samples were to be considered. The concentrations of the considered samples were as follows: for cadmium, 0.984571 μg/g for the liver tissue and 3.181704 μg/g for F. gigantica for copper, 13.78029 μg/g for the liver tissue and 93.59649 μg/g for F. gigantica for lead, 4.673143 μg/g for the liver tissue and 18.51253 for F. gigantica and for zinc, 47.76943 μg/g for the liver tissue and 154.9925 μg/g for F. gigantica. The t-test resulted in a significant difference between the concentrations of all the heavy metals in the liver tissue and liver flukes. The bio-concentration factor (BCF) was also computed. The BCF for cadmium, copper, lead, and zinc were 3.23, 6.80, 3.96, and 3.24, respectively. All the BCF values were >1, hence, the F. gigantica that were extracted accumulated the heavy metals in their respective liver tissue. Consequently, the positive concentration for both the liver tissue and flukes could be due to the area wherein the carabaos graze may be heavily contaminated by these heavy metals. Furthermore, having a BCF>1 could suggest that liver flukes are a good bioaccumulator and even bioindicator for environmental pollution.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F, Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computee disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Heavy metals; Poisons; Water buffalo; Bubalus

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