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Effect of zinc on the tuberculin response of children exposed to adults with smear-positive tuberculosis

Cuevas, Luis ORCID:, Almeida, L. M. D., Mazunder, P., Paixao, A. C., Silva, A. M., Maciel, L., Hart, C. Anthony and Coulter, John B.S. (2002) 'Effect of zinc on the tuberculin response of children exposed to adults with smear-positive tuberculosis'. Annals of Tropical Paediatrics, Vol 22, Issue 4, pp. 313-319.

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The tuberculin test (PPD) is used frequently in the diagnosis of tuberculosis. PPD, however, relies on an intact cell-mediated immunity and infected children often have false negative results. This study assessed whether a single oral zinc supplement modifies the PPD induration size and its association with nutritional status in Brazilian children. Ninety-eight children below 15 years of age who had been exposed to adults with smear-positive pulmonary TB in 1998 were tested by PPD in 1998 and 2000. Children were randomised in 2000 to receive a single oral dose of zinc sulphate or a placebo at the time of administering the PPD. Forty-three (44%) children were PPD-positive in 1998 and 54 (55%) in 2000. A higher proportion of children were classified as PPD-positive in 2000 in the zinc-supplemented group (57.1%) than in the placebo group (53.1%). PPD indurations were larger in children receiving zinc (mean 18.5 and 15.5 mm in the zinc and placebo groups, respectively) (p < 0.03). Mean induration sizes in 2000 were larger in zinc-supplemented children, regardless of their nutritional status. Our study demonstrates that zinc increases the PPD induration size in children irrespective of nutritional state. Zinc supplementation could work by correcting asymptomatic or marginal zinc deficiencies or as a non-specific booster of immunological mechanisms (whether or not there is a deficiency).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 200 Tuberculosis (General)
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 220 Diagnosis. Prognosis
WF Respiratory System > Tuberculosis > WF 415 Tuberculosis in childhood
WS Pediatrics > Child Care. Nutrition. Physical Examination > WS 115 Nutritional requirements. Nutrition disorders
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Child & Reproductive Health Group
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2013 11:51
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:04


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