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Biologia Futura
Authors: Rubina Tu¨nde Szabó, Mária Kovács-Weber, Márta Erdélyi, Krisztián Balogh, Natasa Fazekas, Ákos Horváth, Miklós Mézes, and Balázs Kovács

Background and aims

The aim of this study was to verify that the comet assay can be used to investigate the DNA damaging effects of T-2 and HT-2 toxins in the liver of broiler chickens. The comet assay is a favorable genotoxic analysis because it is cheap, simple, and can be used in many organisms and different tissues.

Materials and methods

Male broiler chickens were fed with T-2/HT-2 toxins-contaminated diet for 14 days. The comet assay was successfully adapted to chicken liver cells, and the DNA damage was determined by a decrease in the comet parameter (DNA % in the tail) in the experimental groups.


The method of evaluation was found to be critical because DNA damage could not be detected exactly using the CometScore software, due to inaccurate separation of head and comet. However, this problem can be solved by visual evaluation.


In the case of the visual evaluation, each toxin-treated group differed significantly from the control group, indicating that the assay can be useful for the assessment of primary DNA damage caused by T-2/HT-2 toxins.

Open access