Codeine accumulation and elimination in larvae, pupae, and imago of the blowfly Lucilia sericata and effects on its development

Authors: Kharbouche, Hicham1; Augsburger, Marc2; Cherix, Daniel3; Sporkert, Frank2; Giroud, Christian2; Wyss, Claude4; Champod, Christophe5; Mangin, Patrice2

Source: International Journal of Legal Medicine, Volume 122, Number 3, May 2008 , pp. 205-211(7)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of insect larvae as samples for toxicological investigations. For this purpose, larvae of Lucilia sericata were reared on samples of minced pig liver treated with different concentrations of codeine: therapeutic, toxic, and potentially lethal doses. Codeine was detected in all tested larvae, confirming the reliability of these specimens for qualitative toxicology analysis. Furthermore, concentrations measured in larvae were correlated with levels in liver tissue. These observations bring new elements regarding the potential use of opiates concentrations in larvae for estimation of drug levels in human tissues. Morphine and norcodeine, two codeine metabolites, have been also detected at different concentrations depending on the concentration of codeine in pig liver and depending on the substance itself. The effects of codeine on the development of L. sericata were also investigated. Results showed that a 29-h interval bias on the evaluation of the larval stage duration calculated from the larvae weight has to be considered if codeine was present in the larvae substrate. Similarly, a 21-h interval bias on the total duration of development, from egg to imago, has to be considered if codeine was present in the larvae substrate.

Keywords: Entomotoxicology; Lucilia sericata; Opiates; Post-mortem interval

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00414-007-0217-z

Affiliations: 1: Institut Universitaire de Médecine Légale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, rue du Bugnon 21, CH-1005, Lausanne, Switzerland, Email: Hicham.Kharbouche@chuv.ch 2: Institut Universitaire de Médecine Légale, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois and University of Lausanne, rue du Bugnon 21, CH-1005, Lausanne, Switzerland 3: Département d’Ecologie et d’Evolution, Faculté de biologie et médecine, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland 4: Musée de zoologie, Palais de Rumine, CH-1014, Lausanne, Switzerland 5: Ecole des Sciences Criminelles, Faculté de Droit, Université de Lausanne, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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