Evaluation of Locomotion Complexity in Zebrafish after Exposure to Twenty Antibiotics by Fractal Dimension and Entropy Analysis

Michael Edbert Suryanto, Chun Chuen Yang, Gilbert Audira, Ross D. Vasquez, Marri Jmelou M. Roldan, Tzong Rong Ger, Chung Der Hsiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Antibiotics are extensively used in aquaculture to prevent bacterial infection and the spread of diseases. Some antibiotics have a relatively longer half-life in water and may induce some adverse effects on the targeted fish species. This study analyzed the potential adverse effects of antibiotics in zebrafish at the behavioral level by a phenomic approach. We conducted three-dimensional (3D) locomotion tracking for adult zebrafish after acute exposure to twenty different antibiotics at a concentration of 100 ppb for 10 days. Their locomotor complexity was analyzed and compared by fractal dimension and permutation entropy analysis. The dimensionality reduction method was performed by combining the data gathered from behavioral endpoints alteration. Principal component and hierarchical analysis conclude that three antibiotics: amoxicillin, trimethoprim, and tylosin, displayed unique characteristics. The effects of these three antibiotics at lower concentrations (1 and 10 ppb) were observed in a follow-up study. Based on the results, these antibiotics can trigger several behavioral alterations in adult zebrafish, even in low doses. Significant changes in locomotor behavioral activity, such as total distance activity, average speed, rapid movement time, angular velocity, time in top/bottom duration, and meandering movement are highly related to neurological motor impairments, anxiety levels, and stress responses were observed. This study provides evidence based on an in vivo experiment to support the idea that the usage of some antibiotics should be carefully addressed since they can induce a significant effect of behavioral alterations in fish.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1059
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • animal behavior
  • antibiotics
  • entropy
  • fractal dimension
  • phenomics


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