Serum level of Selenium, Zinc, and Vitamin C and their relation to the clinical spectrum of leprosy
Keywords:leprosy, vitamin C, zinc, selenium
Introduction: Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease with many risk factors including inadequate nutrient intake and nutritional deficiencies, which affect the immune system, and influence leprosy progression.
Objectives: To elucidate the relation between the serum level of zinc, vitamin C, and selenium and the clinical spectrum of leprosy.
Methodology: A case control study included 100 leprotic patients (50 multibacillary and 50 paucibacillary) and 100 age and sex matched controls. Vitamin C was measured by ELISA, zinc was measured by using centronic colorimetric spectrophotometry, and selenium was measured by Inductivity Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy technique.
Results: Zinc and Vitamin C levels were significantly lower in paucibacillary (mean ± SD = 89.86 ± 20.712 and 2.52 ± 1.27 respectively) and multibacillary (mean ± SD = 81.41 ± 18.61 and 1.98 ± 0.59 respectively) than in controls (mean ± SD = 107.34 ± 3.98 and 4.95 ± 2.45 respectively) (p value < 0.001) with no significant difference between paucibacillary and multibacillary patients (p value = 0.142 and = 0.066 respectively). Selenium level showed no significant difference between the three groups (p value > 0.05) (mean ± SD = 51.27 ± 42.61 in paucibacillary, 47.54 ± 30.21 in multibacillary, and 44.07 ± 46.58 in controls).
Conclusions: Lower serum levels of zinc and vitamin C in leprosy patients may be a result of disease pathogenesis or related to the antioxidants based treatment. It might also present prior to the disease onset due to malnutrition that may have accelerated the development of leprosy.
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