Alaa Y. M. Alhamadany Sarab D. Khalaf Yahya N. M. Alkateb


In agriculture, pesticides are used to preserve plants, but they might be dangerous for farmers and the environment. The present study aimed to use the comet assay and the micronucleus (MN) test to assess the genotoxic effects on lymphocytes and buccal exfoliation in pesticide-exposed male agricultural workers. The samples were collected from 102 workers having exposure to pesticides (Roundup SL, Weed waster, and paraquat 20% SL) and 100 control individuals (without pesticide exposure) from different Mosul, Iraq, neighbourhoods. With the help of the comet assay and the MN test, exfoliated buccal cells from the individuals were analyzed for DNA damage. Each individual's lymphocytes and epithelial baseline cells had their comet tail length assessed, along with any other nuclear abnormalities such as nuclear buds, karyolysis, karyorrhexis, and binucleate cells. The results showed that the frequency of MN considerably rose in the exposed group, and that group also revealed nuclear anomalies linked to cytotoxic or genotoxic effects. There were significant disparities in the amount of DNA damage between recently exposed employees and controls and recently exposed and followed-up cases. In comparison to controls, there was a considerable increase in the and frequency of cells that migrated in exposed workers. However, it was shown that confounding factors, such as age and the varying length of pesticide exposure, substantially impacted DNA damage. Educational programs for agricultural workers are critical to limit the use of chemicals in agriculture, given the evidence of a genetic risk associated with exposure brought on by the extensive use of pesticides.


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Agricultural workers, Comet assay, DNA damage, Genotoxicity, Micronucleus

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Alhamadany, A. Y. M., Khalaf, S. D., & Alkateb, Y. N. M. (2023). Genotoxicity and genomic instability in oral epithelial cells of agricultural workers exposed to pesticides using micronucleus and comet assay in Nineveh, Iraq . Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 15(2), 473–479. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v15i2.4329
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