This research project aims to develop robust biomarkers to detect early pathological effects of low level pesticide residues in food.
A metabolomics approach will be adopted which has been used previously by CEH research groups in disease diagnosis and toxicology.
<p> Initially, 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) will be used to generate metabolic profiles from urine and blood serum collected from acutely exposed rats.
These will be analysed to identify metabolic changes related to pesticide exposure. Biomarker leads from these exposures will be used to target analysis in chronically exposed animals.
This will establish the sensitivity of each biomarker for pesticide effects. Finally, mixture studies will be undertaken to test if the combined effects of pesticides on metabolite responses can be described using the concentration addition and independent action models.
In its report on Risk Assessment of Mixtures of Pesticides and Similar Substances, the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) recommended a need for the development of valid biomarkers to enable the early and reliable detection of systemic responses and health effects arising from exposure to mixtures of pesticides and relevant veterinary residues.
<p>This proposal addresses biomarker development to assess the toxicological effects of low level pesticide residues in food. Ideally such biomarkers should be measurable in easily accessible body fluids.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.