Sperm chromatin integrity in DDT-exposed young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.

TitleSperm chromatin integrity in DDT-exposed young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2009
Authorsde Jager, C, Aneck-Hahn N H., Bornman M S., Farias P, Leter Giorgio, Eleuteri Patrizia, Rescia M, and Spanò M.
JournalHum Reprod
Date Published2009 Oct
Keywordsadolescent, adult, chromatin, Cross-Sectional Studies, DDT, Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene, DNA damage, DNA fragmentation, Flow cytometry, Humans, male, semen analysis, South Africa, Spermatozoa

BACKGROUND: There is mounting evidence that deteriorated semen quality may be associated with increased serum concentration of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(chlorodiphenyl)ethane (DDT) and its metabolites. The problem is exacerbated in situations where DDT is the only resource available to control malaria mosquitoes and DDT metabolite plasma concentration can reach 1000-fold the level found in other populations. There are limited and contradictory epidemiological data on whether DDT/dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE) can also damage sperm DNA. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the possible adverse effects on human sperm genetic integrity in a sufficiently large study population with adequate exposure contrasts, especially in the high exposure range.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study, recruiting 209 young males from three communities in an endemic malaria area where DDT is sprayed annually. Blood plasma p,p'-DDT and its metabolite p,p'-DDE levels were measured and expressed as lipid adjusted p,p'-DDT and p,p'-DDE values. The sperm chromatin structure assay and Aniline Blue test were used to assess sperm DNA/chromatin integrity.

RESULTS: The lipid adjusted p,p'-DDT mean (+/-SD) and median concentrations were 109.2 (+/-106.6) and 83.9 microg/g, respectively; and the lipid adjusted p,p'-DDE mean (+/-SD) and median concentrations were 246.2 (+/-218.5) and 177.8 microg/g, respectively. The results point to a weak association between DDT/DDE plasma concentration and the incidence of sperm with chromatin defects.

CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that non-occupational environmental DDT exposure may have a negative impact on sperm chromatin integrity in young South African males.

Alternate JournalHum. Reprod.
PubMed ID19608568