Sperm chromatin integrity in DDT-exposed young men living in a malaria area in the Limpopo Province, South Africa

13 Apr 2010

There is mounting evidence that deteriorated semen quality may be associated with increased serum concentration of 1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(chlorodiphenyl)ethane (DDT) and its metabolites. The problem is exacerbated in situations where DDT is the only resource available to control malaria mosquitoes and DDT metabolite plasma concentration can reach 1000-fold the level found in other populations. There are limited and contradictory epidemiological data on whether DDT/dichlorodiphenyl-dichloroethylene (DDE) can also damage sperm DNA. Therefore, there is a need to investigate the possible adverse effects on human sperm genetic integrity in a sufficiently large study population with adequate exposure contrasts, especially in the high exposure range.