Detection of mutagenic activity in human urine using mutant strains of salmonella typhimurium

Virginia Minnich, Mary Elizabeth Smith, Doris Thompson, Stuart Kornfeld

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Histidine‐requiring mutants of Salmonella typhimurium that can be reverted to prototrophy by a variety of mutagens were used to detect mutagenic activity in the urine of patients receiving chemotherapeutic agents. Patients given cyclophosphamide and BCNU had detectable urinary mutagenic activity over a 24‐hour period, with maximal levels occurring 12 to 21 hours after drug injection. Whereas native cyclophosphamide required the presence of a rat liver extract to be mutagenic in the test system, the cyclophosphamide metabolites in the urine were fully active in the absence of added liver extract. Mutagenic activity was detected in only the first voided urine specimen of patients receiving fluorouracil. Patients receiving Adriamycin, methotrexate, Mitomycin C, and low doses of oral melphalan did not have detectable mutagenic activity in their urines. One thousand and ten random urine specimens were screened for mutagenic activity. Only eight had greater than 26 revertant colonies per plate. Four of the eight had received metronidazole (Flagyl) for vaginitis while two others had received chemotherapeutic drugs. We were unable to detect increased mutagenic metabolites in the urine of 43 patients with known malignancies, using the standard assay conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1258
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1976


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