Gestational zinc deficiency (GZD)is increasingly being recognized as a significant problem affecting maternal health worldwide. In mice and non-human primates it has also been demonstrated that GZD has adverse and persistent effects on development of the immune system. We report here the effects in human beings of maternal zinc supplementation on immunological development of the neonate and on perinatal morbidity. In Lima, Peru, we conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled trial wherein 730 women were supplemented daily with 15 mg elemental zinc or placebo in conjunction with 60 mg iron and 200 ug folk acid. Cord blood plasma was obtained from children born of these women and the levels of IgM, IgA, IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4 were determined. Preliminary results indicate that IgG3 levels were elevated approximately 35% in children whose mothers received zinc. To further examine the role of zinc in immunological development, cord blood lymphocytes isolated by ficoll density centrifugation are being analyzed by flow cytometry for differences in composition of T and B lymphocyte subsets, NK cells, and monocytes. Lastly, weekly morbidity assessment of children from this maternal supplementation trial has been carried out and preliminary findings indicate that children born of zinc supplemented mothers may experience fewer febrile episodes in the first six months of life if Updated analyses of these data will be presented.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Mar 20 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology