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#Allergy and Immunology
An article published in Nutrients defined sepsis as a “life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by a dysregulated host-response to infection”. The authors discussed that sepsis is a major health issue worldwide; however, it still lacks a fully elucidated pathobiology and uniform diagnostic tests.
The trace element zinc is known to be crucial to ensure an appropriate immune response to sepsis. During sepsis a redistribution of zinc from serum into the liver has been noted and several studies imply a correlation between zinc and sepsis outcome. Therefore, the alterations of zinc concentrations in different tissues might serve as one part of the host’s defense mechanism against pathogens during sepsis by diverse mechanisms.
This article proposed that zinc is involved in nutritional immunity; acts as a hepatoprotective agent; or a differentiation signal for innate immune cells; or supports the synthesis of acute phase proteins. Further knowledge about these events could help in the evaluation of how zinc could be optimally applied to improve treatment of septic patients. Moreover, changes in zinc homeostasis are substantial and correlate with the severity of the disease, suggesting that zinc might also be useful as a diagnostic marker for evaluating the severity and predicting the outcome of sepsis.
This article summarized that zinc is an essential trace element and has been shown to be crucial for ensuring adequate immune response. In sepsis, the host’s zinc homeostasis is altered. Various study results imply some of the alterations to be part of the host’s defense mechanism against pathogens. Previous reports indicate that a patient’s zinc supply and serum zinc concentration is associated with severity, outcome and recurrence of sepsis. Hence, zinc seems to have potential to be used as a biomarker or even as a starting point for a therapeutic approach.
Source: Nutrients. 2018 Aug; 10(8): 976. Published online 2018 Jul 27. doi: 10.3390/nu10080976