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Vet Hum Toxicol. 1996 Dec;38(6):420-2.

Bee head acetylcholinesterase as an indicator of exposure to organophosphate and carbamate insecticides.

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Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, School of Medicine, Athens, Greece.


Insect acetylcholinesterase has received special attention following the discovery that inhibition of the enzyme is the mechanism of activity of the organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. Apiculture is an important source of Greek income and as the detection of anticholinesterase insecticides in bees is very difficult, investigation of the cause of death of honeybees due to acetylcholinesterase inhibition is of great value and will contribute to the differential diagnosis of bee diseases. The enzymatic assay is not capable of distinguishing between individual pesticides', but is an indicator of the exposure of bees to anticholinesterase insecticides.

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