Cholinesterase research outreach project (CROP): point of care cholinesterase measurement in an Australian agricultural community

Australian farmers are routinely exposed to a wide variety of agrichemicals, including herbicides and insecticides. Organophosphate (OP) insecticides are widely used for agricultural production, horticulture and animal husbandry practices. Symptoms of OP toxicity are the results of inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) which is found in many types of conducting tissue in human bodies such as nerve and muscle, central and peripheral tissues, motor and sensory fibres. Cholinesterase can be measured in red blood cells/erythrocytes (AChE) and plasma (PChE). This study aims to explore integration of AChE monitoring into routine health checks for those at risk and also to examine any association between AChE activity and agrichemical use in a Victorian farming community in Australia.