Annals of human biology

Serum proteins and work habits in a group of farm-workers exposed to EBDCs.

PMID 20377494


Study of the association between genetic variability and individual susceptibility can help to characterize occupational or environmental risks due to xenobiotics. This study evaluates the influence of genetic components and environmental factors in relation to pesticide exposure. The study population consisted of 37 non-occupationally exposed workers and 74 farm-workers exposed to pesticide. Exposure was assessed through the measurement of urine concentration of ethylenethiourea (ETU). Genetic differences in drug metabolism were detected by a qualitative variability in serum proteins. The environmental factors were recorded by using a questionnaire. The results show a difference between ETU levels in farm-workers and in non-occupationally exposed workers. In the non-exposed group a relationship between ETU urinary concentration and lifestyle habits is present. In farm-workers ETU urinary concentration is less correlated with lifestyle habits, but is associated, rather, with their work. In the exposed individuals the serum protein analyses show a possible link between ETU urinary concentration and the polymorphism of group-specific component (Gc). The association between Gc polymorphism and ETU urinary concentration of subjects exposed to EBDCs could be due to the immunological function of Gc and the effects on the immune system of EBDCs.