Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 23, Issue 10, pp 9448–9458 | Cite as

From immunotoxicity to carcinogenicity: the effects of carbamate pesticides on the immune system

  • Ines DhouibEmail author
  • Manel Jallouli
  • Alya Annabi
  • Soumaya Marzouki
  • Najoua Gharbi
  • Saloua Elfazaa
  • Mohamed Montassar Lasram
Review Article


The immune system can be the target of many chemicals, with potentially severe adverse effects on the host’s health. In the literature, carbamate (CM) pesticides have been implicated in the increasing prevalence of diseases associated with alterations of the immune response, such as hypersensitivity reactions, some autoimmune diseases and cancers. CMs may initiate, facilitate, or exacerbate pathological immune processes, resulting in immunotoxicity by induction of mutations in genes coding for immunoregulatory factors and modifying immune tolerance. In the present study, direct immunotoxicity, endocrine disruption and inhibition of esterases activities have been introduced as the main mechanisms of CMs-induced immune dysregulation. Moreover, the evidence on the relationship between CM pesticide exposure, dysregulation of the immune system and predisposition to different types of cancers, allergies, autoimmune and infectious diseases is criticized. In addition, in this review, we will discuss the relationship between immunotoxicity and cancer, and the advances made toward understanding the basis of cancer immune evasion.


Carbamates Immune system Cancer Immunotoxicity Animal Human 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ines Dhouib
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Manel Jallouli
    • 1
  • Alya Annabi
    • 1
  • Soumaya Marzouki
    • 3
  • Najoua Gharbi
    • 1
  • Saloua Elfazaa
    • 1
  • Mohamed Montassar Lasram
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité de physiologie des agressions: études métaboliques et endocriniens, Laboratoire de Microorganismes et Biomolécules Actives Département de biologie, Faculté des sciences de TunisUniversité El-ManarTunisTunisie
  2. 2.Ecole Supérieure Privée des Ingénieurs et des Etudes TechnologiquesUniversité Arabe des SciencesTunisTunisie
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’immunologie cliniqueInstitut Pasteur de TunisTunisTunisie

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