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J Infect Dis. 2000 Sep;182 Suppl 1:S134-8.

Micronutrients and infection: interactions and implications with enteric and other infections and future priorities.

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  • 1Division of Geographic and International Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908-1379, USA.

Abstract

Symposium presentations have focused on the elegant molecular science and the biologic mechanisms by which micronutrients play critical roles in cellular and humoral immune responses, cellular signaling and function, and even in the evolution of microbial virulence. The concluding session examined the practical issues of how best to evaluate the nutritionally at-risk host, especially in the areas of greatest need-an analytical model of nutrient-immune interactions, implications of nutritional modulation of the immune response for disease, and the implications for international research and child health. This overview illustrated how malnutrition may be a major consequence of early childhood diarrhea and enteric infections, as enteric infections may critically impair intestinal absorptive function with potential long-term consequences for growth and development. The potentially huge, largely undefined DALY (disability-adjusted life years) impact of early childhood diarrheal illnesses demonstrates the importance of quantifying the long-term functional impact of largely preventable nutritional and infectious diseases, especially in children in developing areas.

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