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Pneumococcal pulmonary infection, septicaemia and survival in young zinc–depleted mice*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

Tor A. Strand
Affiliation:
Centre for International Health and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, NorwayN-5021
David E. Briles
Affiliation:
Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Håkon K. Gjessing
Affiliation:
Centre for International Health and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, NorwayN-5021
Amund Maage
Affiliation:
Institute of Nutrition, Directorate of Fisheries, Bergen, NorwayN-5024
Maharaj K. Bhan
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, 110029 New Delhi, India
Halvor Sommerfelt
Affiliation:
Centre for International Health and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Gade Institute, University of Bergen, NorwayN-5021
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to explore whether mice fed a diet low in Zn (2·0 mg Zn/kg diet) for a relatively short period of time were more prone to severe Streptococcus pneumoniae infection than mice fed a normal diet (25 mg elemental Zn/kg). The Zn-deficient mice were compared with mice in two Zn-adequate control groups; one pair-fed and another with free access to the diet. After 2 weeks feeding, the mice were infected intranasally under anaesthesia with a suspension containing about 107 pneumococci. Clinical status was observed every day and blood samples were examined for S. pneumoniae every second day for a week. All infected mice examined carried the infecting strain intranasally. The survival time and time before positive blood culture were significantly shorter in the Zn-depleted group than in the pair-fed Zn-adequate group (hazard ratios 15·6 and 3·2, P<0·0001 and P=0·045 respectively). At the end of the observation period, ten of the twelve mice in the Zn-deficient group were dead while one of twelve and two of twelve were dead in the two Zn-adequate control groups. This study shows that even acutely-induced Zn deficiency dramatically increases the risk of serious pneumococcal infection in mice.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 2001

Footnotes

*

This study has been presented in part: Strand TA, Briles DE, Maage A, Gjessing H, Blomberg B, Bhan Mk & Sommerfelt H (1998) Pneumococcal pulmonary infection and septicemia in zinc deficient mice. Proceedings of the 8th International Congress of Infectious Diseases, Boston, pp. 317, Abstr. 94.019.

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