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Search for a biomarker for chronic stress in amphibians

StressChron Framework:

Project code 083
Role Co-coordinator
Research area Contributing to a more sustainable and animal welfare minded food production
Research topic Improving our understanding of the impact of anthropogenic activities on the health status of vertebrates in the wild
Vertebrate Amphibian
Species Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra)


The research goal is to find a tissue in amphibians that incorporates glucocorticoids, in particular corticosterone, in time hereby providing a retrospective view on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis making it the long-sought biomarker for chronic stress in amphibians. Hereto, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) method for quantification of a glucocorticoid profile, as seen in fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra), in various structures was developed in an EN ISO/IEC 17025 regulated environment and analytically validated according the requirements of the Commission Decision No. 2002/657/EC.


Keywords: wildlife, amphibian, biomarker, stress, UPLC-MS/MS, glucocorticoids

Funding: Internal

Status: On-going


Ghent University (Aerts J, Martel A, Pasmans F)

Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Aerts J)


None at present

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