The current study was conducted to evaluate the extent of genotoxicity in women bidi rollers of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India. These workers were occupationally exposed to tobacco dust. Investigation of genotoxicity was done in 34 women bidi rollers and 30 age matched controls. The parameters were Comet assay, Chromosome aberrations (CA) in peripheral blood lymphocytes & the correlation of human GSTM1gene polymorphism with Comets and CA. Bidi rollers occupationally exposed to tobacco dust showed significantly increased comet length and comet tail length which were measured in µm. The comet length was found to be 73.80±0.71 (Mean± SE) and 76.99±0.81 in 20-35 years and 51-65 years age groups when compared to age matched controls (51.3 ±0.98 and 63.52±1.27 respectively) at P20 years &>50 years exposure groups respectively. The GSTM1 null controls expressed a slightly higher CA% (1.5±0.2) than GSTM1 positives (1.2±0.41). Similarly, the null rollers showed a higher CA% (2.8±0.4) than the positives (2.55±0.35) but the differences in both bidi rollers & controls were not significant.
The GSTM1 null controls expressed an increased comet length and CA% than that of GSTM1 positives but the differences in both bidi rollers & controls were not significant. The null genotype leads to increase comet length and CA% in bidi rollers as compared to in null controls.
Keywords: Women bidi rollers; occupational hazard; GSTM1 gene polymorphism; Genotoxicity; comet assay; chromosome aberration; Tobacco dust.