To evaluate serum concentrations of trace elements in tuberculosis (TB) patients with or with out human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection before and after anti-TB chemotherapy.
A total of 155 TB patients, 74 of which were coinfected with HIV, and 31 healthy controls from Gondar, Ethiopia.
Serum levels of copper, zinc, selenium and iron were determined using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer from all subjects at baseline and from 44 TB patients (22 with HIV coinfection) at the end of an intensive phase of anti-TB chemotherapy.
Compared with the control group, the concentrations of iron, zinc and selenium were significantly lower (P<0.05) while that of copper and copper/zinc ratio was significantly higher (P<0.05) in the serum of TB patients. TB patients with HIV coinfection had significantly lower serum zinc and selenium concentrations and significantly higher copper/zinc ratio compared to that in TB patients without HIV coinfection (P<0.05). The serum concentration of zinc had significantly increased at the end of intensive phase of anti-TB chemotherapy in patients without HIV coinfection (P<0.05). An increase in serum selenium level was observed in TB patients with or without HIV coinfection after therapy. On the contrary, serum copper concentration and copper/zinc ratio declined significantly after anti-TB chemotherapy irrespective of HIV serostatus (P<0.05).
The results indicate that TB patients have altered profile of trace elements in their sera. This warrants the need for further investigations so that strategies for trace elements supplementation can be planned in addition to their potential as diagnostic parameters in monitoring responses to anti-TB chemotherapy.