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  • 1 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, “Aghia Sophia” Children's Hospital, Athens, 11527, Greece
  • 2 First Department of Pediatrics, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece
  • 3 Department of Microbiology, “Aghia Sophia” Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece
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Abstract

Objectives: To investigate and assess selenium (Se) and zinc (Zn) serum alterations in children with acute infections. Material and Methods: We determined Se, Zn, C-reactive protein (CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), and procalcitonin (PCT) in 80 children hospitalized with acute infections. The patients were divided in two groups: Bacterial infections: 40 children (mean age 4.8 years); viral infections: 40 children (mean age 5.7 years). Morning blood samples were collected from each patient in three different periods: (a) in the acute phase (admission), (b) during the inflammatory process (4th day of hospitalization), and (c) after recovery (28–33 days after the first sampling). Results: We found that patients with bacterial infections had significantly lower levels of Se (48.9±16.4 mg/L vs. 58.1±13.7 mg/L, p=0.014) and Zn (69.3±19.4 mg/dL vs. 79.9±13.1 mg/dL, p=0.008) than those with viral infections on admission. Zn and Se levels were significantly increased after remission and the 4th day of hospitalization in patients with bacterial infections. Se and Zn were inversely related with the inflammatory markers CRP (r=−0.480, p=0.002 and r=−0.380, p=0.02, respectively), and PCT (r=−0.670, p < 0.001 and r=−0.510, p<0.01, respectively), in the same patients group on admission. We also found a positive correlation between the two micronutrients (r = 0.400, p<0.01) in children with bacterial infections on admission. Conclusions: Zn and Se behave as negative acute phase reactants and their levels were inversely associated with the progress of infection in patients with bacterial infections. The changes of micronutrients (Se, Zn) during the inflammatory process are transient and resolve without any dietary intervention.

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