Changes in serum selenium, copper, zinc levels and cu/zn ratio in patients with pulmonary tuberculosis during therapy.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2003 Oct; 95(1):65-71.BT
The effectiveness and success of antituberculosis therapy is mainly measured by its ability to identify the organism in the sputum. In certain cases, available tuberculosis tests are not satisfactory and do not provide enough information on the effectiveness of antituberculosis therapy. Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), and selenium (Se) are the essential elements that play a crucial role in the immune system. The serum levels of these elements vary in many diseases including tuberculosis. In this study, we investigate whether the serum levels of Cu, Zn, and Se change during antituberculosis therapy. We have included 22 pulmonary tuberculosis cases that were newly diagnosed with positive sputum and 18 healthy subjects. At the beginning and 2 mo after therapy, serum levels of Cu, Zn, and Se were measured by atomic absorption spectrometry. Despite Se and Cu levels not being affected during the treatment, we found that there was a significant increase in the levels of Zn and a decrease in the Cu/Zn ratio. Serum Zn levels and the Cu/Zn ratio could be used as a valuable laboratory tool for the clinicians to assess response to therapy or effectiveness of the ongoing antituberculosis therapy.