Happy Birthday: Forty Years of Salmonella/Microsome Assay (pp. 251-260)
Authors: (Flavio Manoel Rodrigues da Silva Júnior, Vera Maria Ferrão Vargas, Laboratório de Ensaios Farmacológicos e Toxicológicos, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande - FURG, Rio Grande, RS, Brasil, and others)
Abstract: The Salmonella/microsome assay is a technique for detection of mutagens based on the principle that mutagens can cause the the reversion of genetic engineered mutations that suppress biosynthesis of histidine in strains of Salmonella typhimurium. It started and has been employed since the beggining of the 70's to investigate chemical and biological samples (urine, feces and plasma) and is currently the most used to evaluate the presence of mutagenic compounds in environmental samples (soil, water, atmospheric material and sediment). Due to its importance, it is nowadays included in environmental legislation in several countries. Several improvements were introduced to enhance the sensibility of the test and broaden its applicability and reliability. Even about to complete its forty-year birthday, the assay keeps receiving improvements, including the development of new sensitive strains for detection of groups of compounds and new ways of evaluation and interpretation of the results. This chapter brings a brief review covering the forty years of the Salmonella/microsome assay studies and future perspectives and trends of this important mutagenicity assay.