In humans, there are sets of genes that encode enzymes that decrease or increase the risks derived from exposure to pesticides. These include DNA repair genes (XRCC1, OGG1 and XRCC4); pesticide metabolizers (GSTP1 and PON1), and genes that act against oxidative stress (SOD2 and NQO1).

The aim of this literature review is to provide information about the genes involved in the defence systems against exposure to pesticides, as well as their polymorphisms, functions, and general characteristics of the encoded enzymes.

Material and Methods:
Information was obtained from scientific articles published between 2015–2020 in the PubMed database (

Genes related to the defence processes against pesticides present single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with allelic variants that affect the expressions or structures of the encoded enzymes, negatively altering their activities. If we knew the genetic profile that includes polymorphisms of DNA-repairing genes, metabolizing genes, and genes against oxidative stress in subjects exposed to pesticides, we would also know about their susceptibility to poisoning caused by these chemicals.

The genes could be used to propose a genetic profile in farmers exposed to various pesticides, including 10 gene polymorphisms involved in susceptibility to various pathologies related to DNA repair, xenobiotic metabolism, and oxidative stress. It could also be useful as a preventive measure to identify susceptibility to pesticide poisoning.

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