A review published in Food and Chemical Toxicology suggests organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) may increase the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause COVID-19, especially among vulnerable individuals with underlying medical conditions. Organophosphorus pesticides (OP) have a wide range of biological uses that makes these chemicals ubiquitous, significantly contaminating both terrestrial (land) and aquatic (water) environments.
However, OPs are highly toxic, originating from the same compounds as World War II nerve agents. Moreover, OPs are one of the leading causes of poisoning globally. Therefore, it is vital to understand how OPs exposure will impact human health in conjunction with other immunologically compromising diseases like COVID-19.
Considering COVID-19 and OP exposure act similarity on the respiratory system, exacerbating adverse inflammatory responses, reviews like these highlight the significance of evaluating synergism between diseases and toxic chemicals to safeguard human health. Researchers in the study note, “To curb SARS-CoV-2 infection, a healthy immune system is obligatory despite potent vaccine to alleviate morbidities in patients.
But unintentional exposure to OP compounds from several sources can rupture the antiviral defense against SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, respiratory ailments may also be fueled by OP compounds. Hence, SARS-CoV-2 mediated morbidities and fatalities could be backed by unintentional exposure to OPs in patients.”
Amidst the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the global demand for pesticides, including disinfectants and sanitizers, has increased substantially as a means of preventing illness in domestic and community settings. Additionally, the increasing pervasiveness of moist environments from severe weather events like hurricanes increases the amount of mold and mosquito pests in some areas, causing higher inputs of fungicides and insecticides to combat the issue.
However, exposure to these toxic pesticides can weaken the body’s immune response to illnesses, creating an environment for underlying conditions (like respiratory issues such as asthma or endocrine disruption problems like diabetes) to flourish among vulnerable individuals.
In this review, researchers examine the structure, transmission-pattern, and respiratory immune response associated with SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, researchers inspect OP exposure impacts on humans and animals using a combination of in vivo and in vitro studies. Lastly, the review investigates the benefits of antioxidants and co-exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and OP compounds as a means of mitigating disease causes and effects.
The immune system offers the best defense against coronavirus-infection,