Scientists Discover Potential Cause of Mystery Kidney Disease in Agricultural Workers

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Kidney Disease Anatomy

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Burning sugarcane and rice husks might release toxic substances connected to persistent kidney illness in farm employees, according to a current research study. This contributes to recognized aspects like environment modification, advising a reevaluation of farming burning practices.

Researchers from CU Anschutz worked together with medical professionals in El Salvador and found raised concentrations of silica nanoparticles in the kidney tissues of clients with a strange illness.

According to a current research study released in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the combustion of sugarcane and rice husks might be launching a toxicant triggering a strange kidney illness in agricultural laborers.

An continuous epidemic of persistent kidney illness has actually been observed amongst manual workers in hot farming neighborhoods throughout the world, consisting of along the Pacific coast of Central America, India, and SriLanka While heat tension and environment modification have actually added to this epidemic, scientists have actually determined small silica particles launched from sugarcane ash that can be breathed in or consumed through polluted drinking water that triggers persistent kidney damage.

“To date, there are no studies we are aware of that have identified a toxicant that can cause chronic kidney disease which is actually present in kidney tissues of patients suffering from this unknown disease,” states Jared Brown, PhD, teacher at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and among the senior authors. “These data provide an important clue to the mystery and suggest that in addition to heat stress from climate change that toxicants from sugarcane ash could be contributing to the disease.”

Study Findings and Implications

University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus dealt with medical professionals at Hospital Rosales in San Salvador, El Salvador to assess clients experiencing this mystical persistent kidney illness. The authors discovered substantially more silica particles in the kidney tissue of clients with this specific illness compared to clients with other recognized kidney illness. The research study recommends the illness might arise from direct exposure to sugarcane ash, which includes amorphous silica nanoparticles. This procedure might likewise be connected to individuals who operate in rice paddies, as the burning of the rice paddies, which is likewise frequently done, can likewise result in the release of silica-containing ash.

“While this data is preliminary, we can determine that the burning of sugarcane may not only be contributing to climate change, but it may have a role in the epidemic that has been affecting agricultural workers,” states Richard Johnson, MD, CU Anschutz School of Medicine teacher and among the senior authors. “This disease is identified as one of the first newly recognized diseases resulting specifically from a warming climate. Now we know toxicants are also involved. Hopefully, this work will spur efforts to focus on sugarcane burning as a potential risk factor for the development of this mysterious kidney disease in workers and people who live adjacent to sugarcane fields.”

Reference: “Silica Nanoparticles and Mesoamerican Nephropathy: A Case Series” by Keegan L. Rogers, Carlos A. Roncal-Jimenez, Ricardo Leiva, Arthur Stem, Julia Wijkstrom, Lissbeth Serpas, Marvin A. Gonz ález-Quiroz, Fumihiko Sasai, Annika Wernerson, Joshua Schaeffer, Jacob Fox, Matthew Ray, Anip Bansal, Manuel Urra, Jaime Butler-Dawson, Scott Lucia, Lee S. Newman, Jason Glaser, Richard J. Johnson and Jared M. Brown, 23 October 2023, American Journal of Kidney Diseases
DOI: 10.1053/ j.ajkd.202306010