Asian Journal of Microbiology, Biotechnology & Environmental Sciences Paper

Vol 6 Issue 2, 2004; Page No.(163-167 )

DNA DAMAGE ASSESSMENT IN SOUTH AFRICAN GOLD MINEWORKERS AND RADIOGRAPHERS USING THE COMET ASSAY

N.N. HOURELD AND H. ABRAHAMSE

Abstract

The present study was carried out to determine if gold mineworkers and radiographers show an increase in oxidative DNA damage, as well as an accumulation in radiation induced damage. For this Lymphocytes were isolated on two occasions from 13 activity working gold mineworkers, 12 activity working radiographers and 9 matched controls, and used in the Comet assay. The mean values of strand breaks, oxidised pyrimidines and altered purines for both test groups was significantly higher as compared to the control group on both occasions. There was no statistical difference between the means from the first and second round of analysis. Occupational exposure to ionising radiation elevates the levels of oxidative stress. There appears to be no accumulation of radiation induced DNA damage.

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