Next Article in Journal
Prevalence and Social Risk Factors for Hearing Impairment in Chinese Children—A National Survey
Next Article in Special Issue
Global Sources and Pathways of Mercury in the Context of Human Health
Previous Article in Journal
Comparison of Gastric versus Gastrointestinal PBET Extractions for Estimating Oral Bioaccessibility of Metals in House Dust
Previous Article in Special Issue
Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(1), 93; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010093

Genetic Aspects of Susceptibility to Mercury Toxicity: An Overview

Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research, National Research Council of Italy, Division of Rende, Rende 87036, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 3 November 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2017 / Published: 18 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury and Health: Current Perspectives and Future Directions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [534 KB, uploaded 18 January 2017]   |  


Human exposure to mercury is still a major public health concern. In this context, children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action, in particular among population groups with significant mercury exposure. New scientific evidence on genetic backgrounds has raised the issue of whether candidate susceptibility genes can make certain individuals more or less vulnerable to mercury toxicity. In this review, the aim is to evaluate a new genetic dimension and its involvement in mercury risk assessment, focusing on the important role played by relevant polymorphisms, located in attractive gene targets for mercury toxicity. Existing original articles on epidemiologic research which report a direct link between the genetic basis of personal vulnerability and different mercury repercussions on human health will be reviewed. Based on this evidence, a careful evaluation of the significant markers of susceptibility will be suggested, in order to obtain a powerful positive “feedback” to improve the quality of life. Large consortia of studies with clear phenotypic assessments will help clarify the “window of susceptibility” in the human health risks due to mercury exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; toxicokinetics; human health; risk assessment; children exposure; environmental genetics; DNA variants; biomarkers of susceptibility mercury; toxicokinetics; human health; risk assessment; children exposure; environmental genetics; DNA variants; biomarkers of susceptibility

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Andreoli, V.; Sprovieri, F. Genetic Aspects of Susceptibility to Mercury Toxicity: An Overview. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 93.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top