Serum levels of DDT and liver function of malaria control personnel

  • H. Bouwman
  • R.M. Cooppan
  • M.J. Botha
  • P.J. Becker

Abstract

The levels of DOT and metabolites in serum of 23 applicators involved in malaria control operations in Natal were determined using gas chromatography with electron capture detection. The me'!n levels (ug/l, ppb) were 61,7 DDT, 129,3 DDE, 11,0 DDD and 202,0 ∑DDT. Percentage DDT was 33,4%. These levels were higher than for an age matched sample of the general population in KwaZulu, who are protected by DDT against malaria. Percentage DDT correlated negatively with age (P < 0,05) for the applicators, suggesting a change in pharmacodynamics with age. Mean serum albumin, alkaline phosphatase, aspartate transferase and -γ-glutamyhransferase (GGT) levels did not differ significantly from an age-matched control group, but the mean GGT value for the applicators was higher than the' maximum of the laboratory normal range. Although not clinically significant, the alanine transferase was significantly higher in the applicators than in the control group. These higher levels suggest a possible risk to the health of the sprayers, but uncertainties remain.

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eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135