Critical reviews in microbiology

Microbial degradation of an organophosphate pesticide, malathion.

PMID 23442144


Organophosphorus pesticide, malathion, is used in public health, residential, and agricultural settings worldwide to control the pest population. It is proven that exposure to malathion produce toxic effects in humans and other mammals. Due to high toxicity, studies are going on to design effective methods for removal of malathion and its associated compounds from the environment. Among various techniques available, degradation of malathion by microbes proves to be an effective and environment friendly method. Recently, research activities in this area have shown that a diverse range of microorganisms are capable of degrading malathion. Therefore, we aimed at providing an overview of research accomplishments on this subject and discussed the toxicity of malathion and its metabolites, various microorganisms involved in its biodegradation and effect of various environmental parameters on its degradation.