Papers of Interest

Output from consortia

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DNA damage

Tice,R.R., Agurell,E., Anderson,D., Burlinson,B., Hartmann,A., Kobayashi,H., Miyamae,Y., Rojas,E., Ryu,J.C., and Sasaki,Y.F. (2000) Single cell gel/comet assay: Guidelines for in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicology testing. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, 35, 206-221.

DNA repair

Collins,A.R., Dusinská,M., Horváthová,E., Munro,E., Savio,M., and Stetina,R. (2001) Inter-individual differences in repair of DNA base oxidation, measured in vitro with the comet assay. Mutagenesis, 16, 297-301

First reports

Ostling O, Johanson KJ. Microelectrophoretic study of radiation-induced DNA damages in individual mammalian cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1984 Aug 30;123(1):291-8.

Books & Book chapters

Cover book_GenTox & DNA repair.jpg

L. María Sierra and Isabel Gaivão (eds.), Genotoxicity and DNA Repair: A Practical Approach, Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4939-1068-7_1, © Springer Science + Business Media New York 2014


Special issues

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Mutation Research, Vol. 845, Sept 2019: Comet assay in vitro

Edited by Maria Dusinska, Solange Costa, Andrew R. Collins


Mutation Research, Vol. 843, July 2019: The Comet assay – Human biomonitoring
Edited by Andrew Collins, Mirta Milic, Stefano Bonassi, Maria Dusinska


Mutagenesis Vol. 33, Jan 2018: Special Issue - The comet assay

Guest Editor: Peter Møller

The articles in this Special Issue of Mutagenesis cover important technical issues of the comet assay procedure, nanogenotoxicity and ionising radiation sensitivity on plant cells. The included biomonitoring studies have assessed seasonal variation and certain predictors for the basal level of DNA damage in white blood cells. Lastly, the comet assay has been used in studies on genotoxicity of environmental and occupational exposures in human biomonitoring studies and animal models. Overall, the articles in this Special Issue demonstrate the versatility of the comet assay and they hold promise that the assay is ready for the next 30 years.

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Frontiers Research Topics, 2015: 30 years of the Comet Assay: an overview with some new insights

Edited by Amaya Azqueta, Andrew Collins and Sabine Langie

Even after 30 years, the comet assay is still in a growth phase, with many new users each year. Many questions are repeatedly raised, which may seem to have self-evident answers, but clearly, it is necessary to reiterate them for the benefit of the new audience, and sometimes being forced to think again about old topics can shed new light. Different applications of the comet assay are discussed, including: genotoxicity testing, human biomonitoring, DNA repair studies, environmental biomonitoring and clinical studies. Furthermore, we will consider and where possible answer questions, including the ones raised by Raymond Tice at the 8th International Comet Assay Workshop in Perugia (Italy 2009): i) What is the spectrum of DNA damage detected by the various versions of the Comet assay?; ii) What are the limitations associated with each application?; iii) What should be done to standardize the assay for biomonitoring studies?; iv) Can the Comet assay be used to monitor changes in global methylation status?; What are the best cell types to use for detecting genotoxic substances in vitro?; v) Can the assay be fully automated?; and more. So this ‘Frontiers in Genetics’ research topic was written for the beginner as well as for the experienced users of the Comet Assay.


Mutagenesis Vol. 30, Jan 2015: Special Issue - The comet assay

Guest Editor: Andrew Collins

  • The comet assay: a heavenly method!

  • New developments in comet-FISH

  • Micropatterned comet assay enables high throughput and sensitive DNA damage quantification

  • Does the duration of lysis affect the sensitivity of the in vitro alkaline comet assay?

  • Comparison of DNA damage by the comet assay in fresh versus cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained
    following dietary intervention

  • Recommendations for increasing alkaline comet assay reliability in plants

  • Experiences with the in vivo and in vitro comet assay in regulatory testingA repair after X-irradiation: lessons from plants

  • Effect of silver nanoparticles on mitogen-activated protein kinases activation: role of reactive oxygen species and implication in DNA damage

  • Applications of the comet assay in particle toxicology: air pollution and engineered nanomaterials exposure

  • Critical factors to be considered when testing nanomaterials for genotoxicity with the comet assay

  • The comet assay in Environmental Risk Assessment of marine pollutants: applications, assets and handicaps of surveying genotoxicity in non-model organisms


Mutagenesis Vol. 23, May 2008: Special Issue on the comet assay

Guest Editor: Valerie McKelvey-Martin 

  • The comet assay: topical issues

  • The use of the comet assay in the study of human nutrition and cancer

  • Using the alkaline comet assay in prognostic tests for male infertility and assisted reproductive technology outcomes

  • Statistical issues in the use of the comet assay

  • Potential use of the comet assay in the clinical management of cancer

  • The comet assay in human biomonitoring: gene–environment interactions

  • Ecotoxicological applications and significance of the comet assay

  • Variation in assessment of oxidatively damaged DNA in mononuclear blood cells by the comet assay with visual scoring

  • Recommendations for design of the rat comet assay

Meeting reports & Abstracts


ICAW 2015: Gudrun Koppen, Amaya Azqueta, Bertrand Pourrut, Gunnar Brunborg, Andrew R. Collins, Sabine A. S. Langie, The next three decades of the comet assay: a report of the 11th International Comet Assay Workshop, Mutagenesis, Volume 32, Issue 3, 1 May 2017, Pages 397–408, https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gex002

ICAW 2001: A. Hartmann, E. Agurell, C. Beevers, S. Brendler-Schwaab, B. Burlinson, P. Clay, A. Collins, A. Smith, G. Speit, V. Thybaud, R.R. Tice, Recommendations for conducting the in vivo alkaline Comet assay, Mutagenesis, Volume 18, Issue 1, January 2003, Pages 45–51, https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/18.1.45

ICAW 1997: Diana Anderson, Michael J. Plewa, The International Comet Assay Workshop, Mutagenesis, Volume 13, Issue 1, January 1998, Pages 67–73, https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/13.1.67


Abstracts from ICAW 2017 

Abstracts of the 12th International Comet Assay Workshop held at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, 29–31 August 2017 (https://icaw.vito.be/), Mutagenesis, Volume 32, Issue 6, November 2017, Pages e1–e28, https://doi.org/10.1093/mutage/gex037

Abstracts from ICAW 2015 - 11th International Comet Assay Workshop published in Frontiers in Genetics

Abstracts from ICAW 2007

Abstracts from the 7th International Comet Assay Workshop held at University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland; 24th–27th June 2007. Mutagenesis vol. 22 no. 6 pp. e1–e21, 2007 doi:10.1093/mutage/gem033



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