Acute in vivo toxicity of neonicotinoid pesticide residues in common Egyptian fruits

Main Article Content

Shaimaa Elshebiney Marwa El-Araby Amr Khattab


Pesticide residues in food is a major health hazard. Contamination of pesticide residues in common Egyptian fruits was studied. Samples of peach and cantaloupe (500g each) from five different local markets were examined. Fruit samples were liquid-liquid extracted. Thiamethoxam was detected in three cantaloupe samples at 0.085 mg/kg and acetamiprid in two samples at 0.24 mg/kg, whereas acetamiprid was detected in all the peach samples at 0.08 mg/kg. Detected levels were below MRL. Male albino rats were given either distilled water (0.2 ml) or acetamiprid (17 µg/kg) or thiamethoxam (6 µg/kg) orally for 6 consecutive days. Doses were calculated according to the estimated average daily intake of fruits (~100 g) and extrapolated to rats. Thereafter, oxidative state of liver and brain was evaluated besides liver function tests and assessment of histopathological features. Serum GPT was in normal range in thiamethoxam-exposed rats, while it showed a marked increase in acetamiprid-exposed rats. sGOT was elevated after exposure to both compounds, though total protein and sGSH were not affected. Oxidative insult was expressed in liver tissue through increased MDA, NO and protein carbonyl contents, although the antioxidant GSH pool was not depleted after pesticide exposure. Acetamiprid boosted the cytokine IL-1 level. Histopathological examination of liver tissue showed inflammatory degenerative changes. Acetamiprid affected the DNA integrity in blood. Brain oxidative state was not changed. These pesticides should be further studied for guiding local regulations towards safer use to avoid long term associated health hazards.

Keywords: Acetamiprid, DALY, Fruits, Pesticides, Thiamethoxam

Article Details

How to Cite
ELSHEBINEY, Shaimaa; EL-ARABY, Marwa; KHATTAB, Amr. Acute in vivo toxicity of neonicotinoid pesticide residues in common Egyptian fruits. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 12, dec. 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 19 june 2024. doi:
Research Articles


1. Hassan Wassef H. Food habits of the Egyptians: newly emerging trends. EMHJ-East Mediterr Health J 10 6 898-915 2004. Published online 2004.
2. Ahmed MT, Greish S, Ismail SM, Mosleh Y, Loutfy NM, El Doussouki A. Dietary intake of pesticides based on vegetable consumption in Ismailia, Egypt: A case study. Hum Ecol Risk Assess Int J. 2014;20(3):779-788.
3. Berrada H, Fernández M, Ruiz MJ, Moltó JC, Mañes J, Font G. Surveillance of pesticide residues in fruits from Valencia during twenty months (2004/05). Food Control. 2010;21(1): 36-44.
4. Attaullah M, Yousuf MJ, Shaukat S, et al. Serum organochlorine pesticides residues and risk of cancer: A case-control study. Saudi J Biol Sci. 2018;25(7):1284-1290.
5. Winter CK, Jara EA. Pesticide food safety standards as companions to tolerances and maximum residue limits. J Integr Agric. 2015; 14(11):2358-2364.
6. de Bon H, Huat J, Parrot L, et al. Pesticide risks from fruit and vegetable pest management by small farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. A review. Agron Sustain Dev. 2014; 34(4):723-736. doi:10.1007/s13593-014-0216-7
7. Malhat FM, Watanabe H, Loutfy NM, Ahmed MT. Hazard assessment of the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam residues in tomato: a prelude to risk assessment profile. Toxicol Environ Chem. 2014;96(2):318-327.
8. Wood TJ, Goulson D. The environmental risks of neonicotinoid pesticides: a review of the evidence post 2013. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2017;24(21):17285-17325.
9. Simon-Delso N, Amaral-Rogers V, Belzunces LP, et al. Systemic insecticides (neonicotinoids and fipronil): trends, uses, mode of action and metabolites. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2015;22(1):5-34.
10. Pohanish RP. Sittig’s Handbook of Pesticides and Agricultural Chemicals. William Andrew; 2014.
11. Elbert A, Haas M, Springer B, Thielert W, Nauen R. Applied aspects of neonicotinoid uses in crop protection. Pest Manag Sci Former Pestic Sci. 2008;64(11):1099-1105.
12. Gad Alla SA, Almaz MM, Thabet WM, Nabil MM. Evaluation of pesticide residues in some Egyptian fruits. Int J Environ. 2015;4(01) :87-97.
13. Maienfisch P, Huerlimann H, Rindlisbacher A, et al. The discovery of thiamethoxam: a second-generation neonicotinoid. Pest Manag Sci. 2001;57(2):165-176.
doi: 10.1002/1526-4998(200102)57:2<165::AID-PS289>3.0.CO;2-G
14. EU committee. EU Pesticides Database (2020). Published 2020. Accessed November 12, 2022
15. Shalaby SE, Abdou GY, El-Metwally IM, Abou-elella G. Health risk assessment of pesticide residues in vegetables collected from Dakahlia, Egypt. J Plant Prot Res. Published online 2021:254-264.
16. Ramadan MF, Abdel-Hamid MM, Altorgoman MM, et al. Evaluation of pesticide residues in vegetables from the Asir Region, Saudi Arabia. Molecules. 2020;25(1):205.
17. Nair AB, Jacob S. A simple practice guide for dose conversion between animals and human. J Basic Clin Pharm. 2016;7(2):27-31. doi:10.4103/0976-0105.177703
18. Perandones CE, Illera VA, Peckham D, Stunz LL, Ashman RF. Regulation of apoptosis in vitro in mature murine spleen T cells. J Immunol Baltim Md 1950. 1993;151(7):3521-3529.
19. Ellman GL. Tissue sulfhydryl groups. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1959;82(1):70-77.
20. Uchiyama M, Mihara M. Determination of malonaldehyde precursor in tissues by thiobarbituric acid test. Anal Biochem. 1978;86(1):271-278.
21. Lubran MM. The measurement of total serum proteins by the Biuret method. Ann Clin Lab Sci. 1978;8(2):106-110.
22. Bancroft JD, Gamble M. Theory and Practice of Histological Techniques. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2008. Accessed February 22, 2016.,+J.D.,+Gamble+2008&ots=JznFdyWvz9&sig=BhScJn004G6aLIOneS7oyw1Ekkc
23. WHO. Diet, Nutrition, and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases: Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation. Vol 916. World Health Organization; 2003.
24. Bach-Faig A, Berry EM, Lairon D, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid today. Science and cultural updates. Public Health Nutr. 2011;14(12A):2274-2284.
25. WHO. The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard and Guidelines to Classification 2019. World Health Organization; 2020.
26. Sharma Y, Bashir S, Irshad M, Gupta SD, Dogra TD. Effects of acute dimethoate administration on antioxidant status of liver and brain of experimental rats. Toxicology. 2005;206(1):49-57.
doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2004.06.062
27. Khovarnagh N, Seyedalipour B. Antioxidant, histopathological and biochemical outcomes of short-term exposure to acetamiprid in liver and brain of rat: The protective role of N-acetylcysteine and S-methylcysteine. Saudi Pharm J. 2021;29(3): 280-289.
28. EL-Hak HNG, Al-Eisa RA, Ryad L, Halawa E, El-Shenawy NS. Mechanisms and histopathological impacts of acetamiprid and azoxystrobin in male rats. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2022;29(28):43114-43125.
29. Gowda S, Desai PB, Hull VV, Avinash AK, Vernekar SN, Kulkarni SS. A review on laboratory liver function tests. Pan Afr Med J. 2009;3.
30. Devan RS, Mishra A, Prabu PC, Mandal TK, Panchapakesan S. Sub-chronic oral toxicity of acetamiprid in Wistar rats. Toxicol Environ Chem. 2015;97(9):1236-1252.
31. Chakroun S, Ezzi L, Grissa I, et al. Hematological, biochemical, and toxicopathic effects of subchronic acetamiprid toxicity in Wistar rats. Environ Sci Pollut Res. 2016;23(24):25191-25199.
32. Mesnage R, Antoniou MN. Ignoring adjuvant toxicity falsifies the safety profile of commercial pesticides. Front Public Health. 2018;5:361.
33. Butterfield DA, Boyd-Kimball D. Mitochondrial oxidative and nitrosative stress and Alzheimer disease. Antioxidants. 2020;9(9):818.
34. Dalle-Donne I, Aldini G, Carini M, Colombo R, Rossi R, Milzani A. Protein carbonylation, cellular dysfunction, and disease progression. J Cell Mol Med. 2006;10(2):389-406. doi:10.1111/j.1582-4934.2006.tb00407.x
35. Li J, Liu D, Sun L, Lu Y, Zhang Z. Advanced glycation end products and neurodegenerative diseases: Mechanisms and perspective. J Neurol Sci. 2012;317(1):1-5. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2012.02.018
36. Sivapiriya V, Jayanthisakthisekaran, Venkatraman S. Effects of dimethoate (O,O-dimethyl S-methyl carbamoyl methyl phosphorodithioate) and Ethanol in antioxidant status of liver and kidney of experimental mice. Pestic Biochem Physiol. 2006;85(2):115-121. doi:10.1016/j.pestbp.2005.12.001