Toxicity assessment of chlorpyrifos on different organs of rat: exploitation of microbial-based enzymatic system for neutralization

  • Shelly SharmaEmail author
  • Partapbir Singh
  • Pooja Chadha
  • Harvinder Singh Saini
Research Article


This study was aiming to treat the chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphate (OP) pesticide with microbial enzyme extract, and assess the toxicity effects of CPF before/after its treatment on the integrity of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and the activities of enzymes AChE (acetylcholinestrase), GST (glutathione S-transferase), SOD (superoxide dismutase), CAT (catalase), and MDA (malondialdehyde) in different organs of rat. The untreated CPF in rat significantly increased the DNA damage and decreased the activities of all these enzymes. Among all the organs studied, the liver was the most affected organ. Further, CPF was treated with an OPH (organophosphate hydrolase) enzyme obtained from CPF degrading bacterial laboratory isolate Pseudomonas sp. (ChlD) to neutralize the toxicity of CPF. The crude intracellular enzyme extract degraded > 90% of added CPF and > 80% of its toxic intermediate 3,5,6-trichloropyridinol (TCP) which resulted in > 80% reduction of CPF toxicity in different organs of rat. Thus, this study not only illustrated the adverse effect of OPs on mammalian system but also suggested a highly efficient and eco-friendly way to remove the harmful pesticide from the environment and agricultural food products which may help to reduce the exposure of humans to such lethal toxicants.


Chlorpyrifos Toxicity Pseudomonas Organophosphate hydrolase 



The authors wish to thank Centre with Potential for Excellence in Particular Area (CPEPA), University Grants Commission (UGC), for providing financial assistance to Shelly Sharma and Science & Engineering Research Board (SERB), New Delhi, India, for providing financial assistance to Dr. Partapbir Singh.

Author contribution statement

Dr. Partapbir Singh isolated the Pseudomonas sp. ChlD and provided the data regarding the presence of chlorpyrifos-degrading opd gene and organophosphate hydrolase enzyme in this bacterial isolate. Further, he assessed the potential activity of the intracellular enzyme extract of the isolate to degrade CPF and its toxic intermediate TCP. He hydrolyzed the CPF by treating with crude intracellular enzyme extract of bacterial isolate and supplied these treated samples of CPF to Dr. Shelly Sharma.

Dr. Shelly Sharma provided the comparative data regarding high toxicity of untreated samples of chlorpyrifos (CPF) and significant reduction in toxicity of CPF samples treated with crude intracellular enzyme extract of ChlD to mammalian (rat) system. She demonstrated this by analyzing genotoxic effect of CPF on the blood, liver, and kidney tissues and analyzing the activities of selected enzymes malonaldehyde (MDA), glutathione S-transferase (GST), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) of rat using comet assay and biochemical tests.

Dr. Pooja Chadha guided Dr. Shelly Sharma throughout the study, assessed and aligned her data to its presentable form.

Dr. Harvinder Singh Saini guided Dr. Partapbir Singh throughout the study, assessed and aligned his data to its presentable form.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics approval

All the experiments were performed according to the guidelines for use and care of laboratory animals and were approved by the Committee for Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (C.P.C.S.E.A, Reference number 226/CPCSEA2 013/20).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shelly Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Partapbir Singh
    • 2
  • Pooja Chadha
    • 1
  • Harvinder Singh Saini
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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