Bemnet Amare, Ketema Tafess, Fusao Ota, Feleke Moges, Beyene Moges, Berhanu Andualem, Tomoki Yabutani and Afework Kassu
Background: Selenium deficiency is known to be a major public health problem, associated with increased risk of mortality with AIDS and AIDS-related complex, diarrhea included compared to those of healthy controls. In Ethiopia, there are no studies conducted on serum selenium status diarrheic patients with and without HIV infection. Therefore, the present study was aimed at determining the level of serum selenium in HIV infected and sex and aged matched HIV negative diarrheic patients..
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 206 (97 HIV seronegative and 109 HIV seropositive) diarrheic patients of both genders seen at University of Gondar Hospital, Gondar, Ethiopia. Serum selenium was measured by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometer.
Results: The mean and standard deviation of serum selenium levels in HIV seropositives was 5.90 ± 2.78 μg/dl and in HIV seronegatives was 6.99 ± 4.26 μg/dl. Deficiency of selenium was seen in 95.9% and 71.56% of diarrheic patients with and without HIV co-infection, respectively. The over all selenium deficiency was observed in 83.0% of patients included in the study irrespective of their HIV serostatus while 85.3%of the patients infected with HIV and 80.4% of patients without HIV infection had serum selenium level below 7μg/dl. The low serum selenium level was not associated with presence or absence of intestinal parasites neither with sociodemographic variables such as age, residence, marital status, occupation, monthly income. The mean serum selenium level of all male cases was statistically significantly lower than that of the females (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Our results show high prevalence of selenium deficiencies in HIV seropositive and seronegative diarrheic patients in Gondar, Ethiopia. Although this is a small group of study subjects, the findings may be used as a tool to suggest further in-depth prospective clinical trials to determine whether selenium supplements may be of public health benefit among HIV-infected populations as a stand-alone therapeutic approach and potentially as an adjuvant to antiretroviral therapy.PDF
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