Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Aug 15;45(4):470-4. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Undernutrition can affect the invading microorganism.

Author information

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ 07101-3000, USA. louriado@umdnj.edu

Abstract

Undernutrition or malnutrition adversely affects host defenses against many invading microorganisms, thereby increasing the severity of infection. Studies of RNA viruses (e.g., coxsackievirus B and influenzavirus) have shown that selenium or vitamin E deficiency in mice increases disease severity and results in stable genomic changes in the virus that increase virulence. Changes in H3N2 influenzavirus were predominantly in the ordinarily stable M1 matrix protein. Whether this represents selection of already-existing variants or direct effects on viral RNA is unclear. Related questions include whether undernutrition in persons who acquire infection with influenzavirus H5N1 could promote genomic changes during infection that result in greater virulence and higher case-fatality rates, and whether undernutrition could help create the multiple mutations needed to instigate human-to-human transmission. These possibilities emphasize the importance of alleviating world poverty and malnutrition. In addition, these findings suggest that the neglected area of undernutrition affecting invading microorganisms merits intensive investigation in humans and experimental models.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk