African Journal of
Biochemistry Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biochem. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0778
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 384

Full Length Research Paper

Detection of DNA damage in lead (Pb) exposed city traffic wardens in Pakistan

Ayesha Pervez
  • Ayesha Pervez
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Fozan Ahmed
  • Fozan Ahmed
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Nazish Mehmood Aisha
  • Nazish Mehmood Aisha
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Salman Idrees
  • Salman Idrees
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Muhammad Ikram Ullah
  • Muhammad Ikram Ullah
  • Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid i Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
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Mohammad Zamir Ahmad
  • Mohammad Zamir Ahmad
  • Department of Biochemistry, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Aftab Ahmed
  • Aftab Ahmed
  • School of Biological Sciences, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.
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Muhammad Jawad Hassan*
  • Muhammad Jawad Hassan*
  • Department of Healthcare Biotechnology, Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.
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  •  Received: 14 February 2015
  •  Published: 30 April 2015

Abstract

Lead (Pb) is one of the toxic metals and is commonly used in industries. It affects multiple systems and has role in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The objective of the present study was to determine Pb levels and to detect DNA damage in traffic wardens of Lahore, Pakistan. A total of 90 subjects were selected including 60 traffic wardens working in field and 30 working in administrative zones. The wardens who were working in field were considered as cases (exposed by the lead polluted environment) while the wardens in the administrative offices (less exposed to polluted environment) were labeled controls. Venous blood samples were collected for Pb and comet assay. In cases, the levels of Pb were 18.76±8.84 μg/dL (Mean±SD) that was higher than controls, 12.00±3.552 (p 0.000). Tail moment (TM) in cases (0.583±1.960) and controls (0.0453±0.108) significantly differed (p 0.004). There was no change in %DNA in tail and head (p 0.136). The parameters for DNA damage assessment including Comet length (CL) and Tail length (TL) were also found higher in cases than controls. Correlation of lead with other biochemical parameters including liver functions, renal functions and lipid profiles was carried out to assess the various organs/systems. The correlation was established with creatinine showing statistically significant value (p 0.019). Our findings elaborate a mild raise of lead levels in exposed group. There was no significant difference in comet length between cases and controls. Also, minor or no differences were observed in different biochemical parameters between cases and controls. These findings demonstrate dramatic improvement over the results from the study done previously in 2005 and may be attributed to the success of having lead-free petroleum as motor fuel. 
 
Key words: Lead, DNA damage, single cell gel electrophoresis, traffic wardens.