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Title: Development and applications of mutagenicity and carcinogenicity bioassays for human health risk assessment
Author: Alhadrami, Hani Abdullah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 2864
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Young children are particularly sensitive to environmental pollutants. They can directly ingest soil by putting dirty hands and objects in their mouths. The reliance on animal derived models for human health risk and exposure assessment has several limitations. In this investigation, a tool-kit was developed and optimised to facilitate more accurate, reliable and representative predictions of soil contaminants that might pose a significant hazard to young children. The tool-kit was developed and optimised using an in vitro human digestion bioassay. This procedure was followed by the optimisation of several mutagenicity bioassays to link to the bioaccessible fraction which quantified by the in vitro bioassay. The application of novel and sensitive environmental-based biosensors requires them to work in parallel with effective and proven extraction techniques. In this study, chemical analysis was used to quantify the bioaccessible (human assimilated portion) of pollutants in soils. Acute toxicity was measured using constitutively marked bioluminescent bacterial biosensors and these were indicative of the total contaminant burden. A range of mutagenic assays were applied and optimised. In the Ames assay, any compound exhibiting a greater than two-fold increase in the number of revertants colonies over the number of spontaneous revertants was considered as a mutagen. Mutagenic-responsive SOS-lux based microbial biosensors were compared to the Ames assay. Mutagenicity assessment of a broad range of environmental pollutants (i.e. B[a]P, DiB(a,h)A, B[a]A, Ni and Cu), was performed using four SOS-lux microbial biosensors; E. coli DPD1718, E. coli K12C600, S. aureus pAmiUmuC and S. aureus pAmiRecA. The results substantiated that the four biosensors were unable to be induced by these pollutants. Nevertheless, E. coli DPD1718 and E. coli K12C600 were successfully induced by Mitomycin C (MMC) in a dose response manner. The Ames assay was performed for the above pollutants in the absence and the presence of the metabolic activation S9 mix. The standard plate incorporation assay and a modification protocol for the Ames assay were applied. Results reported from the Ames assay confirmed mutagenicity responses of the tested pollutants except Cu and Ni. MMC was selected and introduced into soil samples as a case study to assess the performance of the developed tool-kit. Soils amended with MMC were extracted by the in vitro human digestion bioassay, and the mutagenicity of the bioaccessible fraction was measured using the Ames assay and the biosensors. A comparison was made between the permissible concentrations of MMC obtained from the developed tool-kit and RISC4 derived concentrations. The four microbial biosensors applied in this study were incapable to detect the mutagenicity of the tested pollutants. On the other hand, the Ames assay was more robust and sensitive to a broad range of environmental pollutants. The in vitro human digestion bioassay enabled the quantification of the human bioaccessible fraction of the tested pollutants. This fraction posed a concern due to its estimation of the doses that would reach the blood circulation and cause harm to human. While the permissible concentration of MMC measured by the developed tool-kit was less than 10 μg MMC/g, the RISC4 model calculated that it should be 40 μg MMC/g. This revealed that, in this situation, risk assessment model was less conservative than empirical study for human health risk assessment. This study enabled the assessment of the permissible concentrations of environmental pollutants that could remain in a soil and pose permissible harm to humans. This approach also enabled a comparison of modelled and empirical data to allow a measure of sensitivity to be judged. There is a need to develop bioassay techniques more able to assess the potency of hydrophobic compounds both in isolation and combination.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Health risk assessment ; Biological monitoring ; Carcinogenesis ; Mutagenesis ; Testing