Background: The use of alletrin based mosquito coil in developing countries to kill and wade off mosquitoes is still on the increase and there is urgent needs to provide information on the potential health risk of prolonged exposure to the coil fume. Thus, this study assessed the mosquito coil fume induced damage to pulmonary tissue.
Methods: Thirty six male Wistar rats were divided into 6 groups (n =6). Rat in groups 1, 3 and 5 were exposed 8 hours to mosquito coil for 30, 60 or 90 days via whole body inhalation in wooden iron gauze cage. Rat in group 2, 4 and 6, served as non-exposed group and had access to natural air. Rats were euthanized on day 31. 61 or 91, lungs removed aseptically and effect of the fume assessed.
Results: Exposure of experimental rats to the mosquito coil fume resulted in the elevation of the lipid peroxidation and nitrite levels in the lungs of exposed rats from day 30 to day 90 compared to the un-exposed rats (P < 0.05). Furthermore, there was 2-fold decrease in lungs glutathione levels in mosquito coil fume exposed rats compared to the unexposed control rats, (P < 0.05). Also, the lung TNF-α level of mosquito coil fume exposed rats was significantly elevated starting from day 30 to day 90 relative to the un-exposed rats (P < 0.05). Histological analysis of the lungs of exposed rats showed erosion of the lining of the bronchial epithelium, numerous macrophages defoliating from the wall of the alveoli septae and foci of mild desquamation.
Conclusion: Continuous exposure to allethrin based mosquito coil fume promotes oxidative stress and inflammation which are implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases.