Genotoxicity of Occupational Pesticide Exposures among Agricultural Workers in Arab Countries: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Moustafa Sherif, Khadija Ramadhan Makame, Linda Östlundh, Marilia Silva Paulo, Abderrahim Nemmar, Bassam R. Ali, Rami H. Al-Rifai, Károly Nagy, Balázs Ádám

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Exposure to pesticides in Arab countries is a significant public health concern due to extensive agricultural activity and pesticide use. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the genotoxic effects of agricultural pesticide exposure in the region, identify research gaps, and assess methodological limitations. Following the PRISMA guidelines, a comprehensive search yielded five relevant studies conducted in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan. Various genotoxicity assays were employed, revealing a higher level of DNA damage in exposed compared to non-exposed individuals. Farmers exposed to pesticides exhibited a significantly higher occurrence of chromosomal translocation (t(14;18)), micronuclei, and chromosomal aberrations. However, only two studies assessed cytotoxicity indirectly. The studies predominantly focused on male participants, with variations in sample size and pesticide types. The lack of detailed exposure data necessitates cautious interpretation. This review underscores the need for further research on the genotoxicity of occupational pesticide exposure in the Middle East. Future studies should adopt robust study designs, collect biological and environmental samples, conduct repeated sampling, analyze seasonal variations, and encompass diverse study sites associated with specific crop groups.

Original languageEnglish
Article number663
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Arab countries
  • DNA damage
  • agriculture
  • genotoxicity
  • occupational exposure
  • pesticide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Chemical Health and Safety


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