Pyrethroid insecticides: poisoning syndromes, synergies, and therapy.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Pyrethroid insecticides are widely used, but there have been relatively few reports of systemic poisoning. These reports have, however, shown that pharmacotherapy is difficult and that the duration of poisoning can be unexpectedly long. Pyrethroids are ion channel toxins prolonging neuronal excitation, but are not directly cytotoxic. Two basic poisoning syndromes are seen. Type I pyrethroids produce reflex hyperexcitability and fine tremor. Type II pyrethroids produce salivation, hyperexcitability, choreoathetosis, and seizures. Both produce potent sympathetic activation. Local effects are also seen: skin contamination producing paresthesia and ingestion producing gastrointestinal irritation. The slow absorption of pyrethroids across the skin usually prevents systemic poisoning, although a significant reservoir of pyrethroid may remain bound to the epidermis. Carboxyesterase inhibitors can enhance pyrethroid toxicity in high-dose experimental studies. Hence, the unauthorized pyrethroid/organophosphate mixtures marketed in some developing countries may precipitate human poisoning. Pyrethroid paresthesia can be treated by decontamination of the skin, but systemic poisoning is difficult to control with anticonvulsants. Pentobarbitone, however, is surprisingly effective as therapy against systemic type II pyrethroid poisoning in rats, probably due to its dual action as a chloride channel agonist and a membrane stabilizer.
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ABSTRACT: Bellamya bengalensis (Gastropoda: Prosobranchia) and Lamellidens marginalis (Bivalvia: Eulamellibranchiata) are the molluscs of Indian freshwater ecosystem and important biological resources. These edible species bear economical, ecological, nutritional and medicinal importance. Natural habitat of these organisms is under the ecological threat of contamination by cypermethrin and fenvalerate, the common pyrethroid pesticides of India. Hemocytes are chief immunoeffector cells of molluscs which exhibit responsiveness against environmental toxins and perform diverse immunological functions including phagocytosis, encapsulation and cytotoxicity. Experimental exposure of cypermethrin and fenvalerate resulted in significant shift in density and morphological damage in hemocytes of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis respectively. Pyrethroid induced fragility and destabilization of hemocyte lysosomal membrane was recorded and proposed as an indication of toxin induced stress in molluscs. Apoptosis is an immunologically important cellular response which is modulated by environmental toxins. Pyrethroid exposure suppressed the physiological level of apoptosis and necrosis in hemocytes of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis indicating possible impairment of apoptosis mediated immunoprotection. Differential responses of B. bengalensis and L. marginalis hemocytes may be due to species specificity, toxin specificity, nonidentical immune strategies of Gastropoda and Bivalvia, specific habitat preference and related ecological niches.Fish & Shellfish Immunology 05/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.fsi.2013.05.008 · 3.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pyrethroid insecticides are one of the most commonly used residential and agricultural insecticides. Based on the increased use of pyrethroids and recent studies showing that pregnant women and children are exposed to pyrethroids, there are concerns over the potential for developmental neurotoxicity. However, there have been relatively few studies on the developmental neurotoxicity of pyrethroids. In this study, we sought to investigate the developmental toxicity of six common pyrethroids, three type I compounds (permethrin, resmethrin, and bifenthrin) and three type II compounds (deltamethrin, cypermethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin), and to determine whether zebrafish embryos may be an appropriate model for studying the developmental neurotoxicity of pyrethroids. Exposure of zebrafish embryos to pyrethroids caused a dose-dependent increase in mortality and pericardial edema, with type II compounds being the most potent. At doses approaching the LC(50), permethrin and deltamethrin caused craniofacial abnormalities. These findings are consistent with mammalian studies demonstrating that pyrethroids are mildly teratogenic at very high doses. However, at lower doses, body axis curvature and spasms were observed, which were reminiscent of the classic syndromes observed with pyrethroid toxicity. Treatment with diazepam ameliorated the spasms, while treatment with the sodium channel antagonist MS-222 ameliorated both spasms and body curvature, suggesting that pyrethroid-induced neurotoxicity is similar in zebrafish and mammals. Taken in concert, these data suggest that zebrafish may be an appropriate alternative model to study the mechanism(s) responsible for the developmental neurotoxicity of pyrethroid insecticides and aid in identification of compounds that should be further tested in mammalian systems.Toxicological Sciences 10/2009; 113(1):177-86. DOI:10.1093/toxsci/kfp258 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In many parts of the world, deliberate indoor residual spraying (IRS) of dwellings with insecticides to control malaria transmission remains the only viable option, thereby unintentionally but inevitably also causing exposure to inhabitants. Because mothers are exposed to insecticides via various routes, accumulated residues are transferred to infants via breast milk, in some cases exceeding recommended intake levels. Except for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), safety of residues of other insecticides in breast milk has not been considered during World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) evaluations. However, very little is known of the health risks posed by these chemicals to infants who, in developing countries, breast-feed for up to 2 years. We evaluated the need for WHOPES to include breast milk as a potentially significant route of exposure and risk to infants when evaluating the risks during evaluation of IRS insecticides. We present evidence showing that neurologic and endocrine effects are associated with pyrethroids and DDT at levels equal or below known levels in breast milk. Because millions of people in malaria control areas experience conditions of multiple sources and routes of exposure to any number of insecticides, even though lives are saved through malaria prevention, identification of potential infant health risks associated with insecticide residues in breast milk must be incorporated in WHOPES evaluations and in the development of appropriate risk assessment tools.Environmental Health Perspectives 10/2009; 117(10):1477-80. DOI:10.1289/ehp.0900605 · 7.03 Impact Factor