Relationship between plasma selenium levels and lower genital tract levels of HIV-1 RNA and interleukin 1-B

Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 2.71). 04/2007; 61(4):542-7. DOI: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602567
Source: PubMed


To examine the relationship between selenium nutritional status and intermediates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 transmission.
Prospective cohort study.
A study clinic at Muhimbili National Hospital, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
A total of 340 HIV-1-infected pregnant women with gestational ages 12-27 weeks.
Women's plasma selenium concentrations were determined at enrollment and modeled as tertiles (tertile 1: <114 microg/l (reference); tertile 2: 114-131 microg/l; tertile 3: >131 microg/l). Cervicovaginal lavage specimens were obtained at 36 weeks of gestation to determine HIV-1 RNA and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) levels. In subgroup analyses, 123 women with genital tract infections at enrollment were excluded.
Plasma selenium concentrations >or=114 microg/l were related to increased risk of lower-genital shedding of HIV-1 RNA. Excluding women with genital tract infections strengthened the associations (relative risk (RR) tertile 2: 1.46, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.10, 1.92; RR tertile 3: 1.39, 95% CI=1.05, 1.84). There was evidence for an association between plasma selenium concentrations >or=114 microg/l and increased HIV-1 RNA levels among the entire cohort and after excluding women with genital tract infections. There was no association between plasma selenium and IL-1beta concentrations.
High selenium status may lead to increased risk of genital HIV-1 shedding, but data from other studies indicate that the evidence is mixed. Results from ongoing selenium trials are awaited to clarify the impact of selenium on HIV-1-related transmission endpoints. Sponsorship: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD R01 32257) and the Fogarty International Center (NIH D43 TW00004).

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