1Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo, Nigeria
2Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Nigeria
*Correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: Nutritional status is one of the most important determinants of immune response to infection. The objective of this study was to assess the serum concentrations of selected trace elements in selected patients on anti-tuberculosis (TB) therapy in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Methodology: This was a prospective observational study of selected TB patients attending the TB treatment centers of selected hospitals in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria, for assessment of the serum concentrations of some essential trace elements during anti-TB therapy. First, participants with suspected pulmonary TB were consecutively selected and sputum samples were collected from each of them into wide mouth containers for GeneXpert TB analysis. Then, 5 millilitres of venous blood were collected from participants who tested positive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) on GeneXpert test into plain specimen containers at the time of diagnosis, and at the 2nd, 4th and 6th month of anti-TB therapy. Blood samples were also collected from randomly selected apparently healthy individuals as controls. The samples were centrifuged at 3,000 rpm for 5 minutes, and serum concentrations of copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), selenium (Se) and chromium (Cr) were measured using flame atomic absorption spectrometry.
Results: A total of 155 participants with suspected TB were selected for the study, 83 (53.5%) were females while 72 (46.5%) were males. Majority of the participants were in age group 31-50 years. Thirteen (8.4%) participants were positive for MTB on GeneXpert analysis and placed on standard anti-TB therapy, while 1 participant defaulted. The mean serum concentrations of all the trace elements measured for the 12 positive participants at the different stages of anti-TB therapy was statistically significant (p<0.05). The mean serum concentrations of Zn, Fe and Se were significantly increased at the 4th and 6th month of therapy compared to the concentration at diagnosis and at 2nd month of treatment. However, the mean serum concentrations of Cu and Cr significantly decreased at the 6th month of treatment compared to their concentrations at initial diagnosis.
Conclusion: Assessment of the serum concentrations of Zn, Fe, Cu, Se and Cr could serve as indicator of nutritional status and oxidative stress, as well as serve as treatment indices to assess patients on anti-TB therapy.
Keywords: tuberculosis, trace elements, serum concentration, therapeutic response, Uyo, Nigeria
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