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.




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

Altman, S. A., Randers, L. & Rao, G. (1993). Comparison of trypan blue dye exclusion and fluorometric assays for mammalian cell viability determinations. Biotechnology Progress, 9(6), 671-674. doi: https://doi.org/10.1021/bp00024a017
Aprea, C. M. (2012). Mini review: Environmental and biological monitoring in the estimation of absorbed doses of pesticides. Toxicology Letters. 210, 110-118. https://doi:10.1016/j.toxlet.2011.08.008
Benedetti, D., Nunes, E., Sarmento, MS., Porto, C., Santos, CEI., Dias, J F. & Da Silva, J. (2013). Genetic damage in soybean workers exposed to pesticides: Evaluation with the comet and buccal micronucleus cytome assays. Mutation research. Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis. 752, 28-33. https://doi:10.1016/j.mrgen tox.2013.01.001
Bhalli, JA., Khan, QM. & Nasim, A. (2006). DNA damage in Pakistani pesticide manufacturing workers assayed using the Comet assay. Environ Mol Mutagen . 47(Suppl 8):587-93. https://doi:10.1002/em.20232
Bortoluzzi, M. C., Campagnoli, E. B., Milan, J. R., Reinheimer, A., Masson, M. & Capella, D. L. (2014). Frequency of micronucleus in oral epithelial cells after exposure to mate-tea in healthy humans. Medicina Oral, Patologia Oral y Cirugia Bucal, 19(4), e345.‏ https://doi:10.4317/medoral.19570
Damalas, C. A., & Koutroubas, S. D. (2016). Farmers’ exposure to pesticides: toxicity types and ways of prevention. Toxics, 4(1), 1.‏ https://doi: 10.3390/toxics4010001
Fenech, M. & Bonassi, S. (2011). The effect of age, gender, diet and lifestyle on DNA damage measured using micronucleus frequency in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Mutagenesis, 26(1), 43-49.‏ https://doi:10.1093/mutage/geq050
Islas-González, K., González-Horta, C., Sánchez-Ramírez, B., Reyes-Aragón, E. & Levario-Carrillo, M. (2005). In vitro assessment of the genotoxicity of ethyl paraoxon in newborns and adults. Human & experimental toxicology, 24(6), 319-324.‏ https://doi:10.1191/096 0327105ht534oa
Jonnalagadda, P. R., Jahan, P., Venkatasubramanian, S., Khan, I. A., Prasad, A. Y. E., Reddy, K. A., ... & Hasan, Q. (2012). Genotoxicity in agricultural farmers from Guntur district of South India—a case study. Human & Experimental Toxicology, 31(7), 741-747.‏ doi:10.1177/0960327 111408151
Kaur, K. & Kaur, R. (2018). Occupational pesticide exposure, impaired DNA repair, and diseases. Indian journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 22(2), 74.‏ https://doi:10.4103/ijoem.IJOEM_45_18
Leite, S. B., de Diana, D. M. F., Abreu, J. A. S., Avalos, D. S., Denis, M. A., Ovelar, C. C., ... & Corvalan, R. (2019). DNA damage induced by exposure to pesticides in children of rural areas in Paraguay. The Indian Journal of Medical Research, 150(3), 290.https://doi:10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1497_17
Liu, Y. J., Huang, P. L., Chang, Y. F., Chen, Y. H., Chiou, Y. H., Xu, Z. L. & Wong, R. H. (2006). GSTP1 genetic polymorphism is associated with a higher risk of DNA damage in pesticide-exposed fruit growers. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 15(4), 659-666.‏ https://doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-05-0617
Moshou, H., Karakitsou, A., Yfanti, F., Hela, D., Vlastos, D., Paschalidou, A. K., ... & Petrou, I. (2020). Assessment of genetic effects and pesticide exposure of farmers in NW Greece. Environmental Research, 186, 109558.‏ https://doi:10.1016/j.envres.2020.109558
Mostafalou, S. & Abdollahi, M. (2013). Pesticides and human chronic diseases: evidences, mechanisms, and perspectives. Toxicology and applied pharmacology, 268(2), 157-177.‏ https://doi:10.1016/j.taap.2013.01.025
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2018). Considerations for assessing the risks of combined exposure to multiple chemicals. OECD Publishing.‏ https://doi.org/10.1787/ceca15a9-en.
Pathak, V. M., Verma, V. K., Rawat, B. S., Kaur, B., Babu, N., Sharma, A., ... & Cunill, J. M. (2022). Current status of pesticide effects on environment, human health and it’s eco-friendly management as bioremediation: A comprehensive review. Frontiers in Microbiology, 2833.‏ https://doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.962619
Rajmohan, K. S., Chandrasekaran, R. & Varjani, S. (2020). A review on occurrence of pesticides in environment and current technologies for their remediation and management. Indian journal of microbiology, 60, 125-138.‏ https://doi:10.1007/s12088-019-00841-x
Sánchez-Alarcón, J., Milić, M., Kašuba, V., Tenorio-Arvide, M. G., Montiel-González, J. M. R., Bonassi, S. & Valencia-Quintana, R. (2021). A systematic review of studies on genotoxicity and related biomarkers in populations exposed to pesticides in Mexico. Toxics, 9(11), 272.‏ https://doi:10.3390/toxics9110272
Sule, R. O., Condon, L., & Gomes, A. V. (2022). A Common Feature of Pesticides: Oxidative Stress-The Role of Oxidative Stress in Pesticide-Induced Toxicity. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2022, 5563759.‏ https://doi:10.1155/2022/5563759
Thomas, P., Holland, N., Bolognesi, C., Kirsch-Volders, M., Bonassi, S., Zeiger, E., ... & Fenech, M. (2009). Buccal micronucleus cytome assay. Nature protocols, 4(6), 825-837.‏ https://doi:10.1038/nprot.2009.53
Tudi, M., Daniel Ruan, H., Wang, L., Lyu, J., Sadler, R., Connell, D., ... & Phung, D. T. (2021). Agriculture development, pesticide application and its impact on the environment. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(3), 1112.‏ https://doi:10.3390/ijerph18031112
Vaou, N., Stavropoulou, E., Voidarou, C., Tsakris, Z., Rozos, G., Tsigalou, C. & Bezirtzoglou, E. (2022). Interactions between medical plant-derived bioactive compounds: focus on antimicrobial combination effects. Antibiotics, 11(8), 1014.‏ https://doi:10.3390/antibiotics11081014
Research Articles

How to Cite

Genotoxicity and genomic instability in oral epithelial cells of agricultural workers exposed to pesticides using micronucleus and comet assay in Nineveh, Iraq . (2023). Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 15(2), 473-479. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v15i2.4329