The effect of mixtures of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides on acetylcholinesterase and application of chemometrics to identify pesticides in mixtures

Organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CP) pesticides act by the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This enables the use of this enzyme for the detection of these pesticides in the environment. While many studies have looked at the effect of single pesticides on AChE, the effect of mixtures of...

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Published in: Environmental monitoring and assessment Vol. 185; no. 3; p. 2315
Main Authors: Mwila, K, Burton, M H, Van Dyk, J S, Pletschke, B I
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: Netherlands 03-01-2013
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Summary: Organophosphate (OP) and carbamate (CP) pesticides act by the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This enables the use of this enzyme for the detection of these pesticides in the environment. While many studies have looked at the effect of single pesticides on AChE, the effect of mixtures of pesticides still requires extensive investigation. This is important to evaluate the cumulative risk in the case of simultaneous exposure to multiple pesticides. Therefore we examined the effect of five different pesticides (carbaryl, carbofuran, parathion, demeton-S-methyl, and aldicarb) on AChE activity to determine whether combinations had an additive, synergistic, or antagonistic inhibitory effect. Results indicated that the mixtures had an additive inhibitory effect on AChE activity. The data from the assays of the mixtures were used to develop and train an artificial neural network (ANN) which was then utilised successfully for the identification of pesticides and their concentrations in mixtures. This study is significant because it evaluated mixtures of OPs and CPs where previous studies focused on either OPs or CPs. Previous studies have only examined up to three pesticides while this study evaluated mixtures of five pesticides simultaneously. This is also the first study where an ANN was able to utilise data from the inhibition of a single enzyme to differentiate five different pesticides and their concentrations from mixtures.
ISSN: 1573-2959