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Open Access Research article

Iron status in HIV-1 infection: implications in disease pathology

S Olatunbosun Banjoko15*, Falilat A Oseni1, Rachel A Togun2, Olaniyi Onayemi3, Beatrice O Emma-Okon4 and Julius B Fakunle4

Author affiliations

1 Department of Chemical Pathology, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

2 Department of Haematology & Immunology, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

3 Department of Dermatology & Venereology, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

4 Department of Medical Biochemistry, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

5 Institute of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

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Citation and License

BMC Clinical Pathology 2012, 12:26  doi:10.1186/1472-6890-12-26

Published: 17 December 2012

Abstract

Background

There had been conflicting reports with levels of markers of iron metabolism in HIV infection. This study was therefore aimed at investigating iron status and its possible mediation of severity of HIV- 1 infection and pathogenesis.

Method

Eighty (80) anti-retroviral naive HIV-1 positive and 50 sero-negative controls were recruited for the study. Concentrations of serum total iron, transferrin, total iron binding capacity (TIBC), CD4+ T -lymphocytes, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and transferrin saturation were estimated.

Results

The mean CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell counts, serum iron, TIBC, transferrin saturation for the tests and controls were 319 ± 22, 952 ± 57 cells/μl (P < 0.001), 35 ± 0.8, 11.8 ± 0.9 μmol/l (P < 0.001), 58.5 ± 2.2, 45.2 ± 2.4 μmol/l (P < 0.005) and 68.8 ± 3.3, 27.7 ± 2.2%, (P <0.001), respectively, while mean concentrations of vitamin C, zinc and selenium were 0.03 ± 0.01, 0.3 ± 0.04 (P < 0.001), 0.6 ± 0.05, 11.9 ± 0.26 μmol/l (P < 0.001) and 0.1 ± 0.01, 1.2 ± 0.12 μmol/l (P < 0.001) respectively. Furthermore, CD4+ T-lymphocyte cell count had a positive correlation with levels of vitamin C (r = 0.497, P < 0.001), zinc (r = 0.737, P < 0.001), selenium (r = 0.639, P < 0.001) and a negative correlation with serum iron levels (r = −0.572, P < 0.001).

Conclusion

It could be inferred that derangement in iron metabolism, in addition to oxidative stress, might have contributed to the depletion of CD4+ T cell population in our subjects and this may result in poor prognosis of the disease.

Keywords:
Iron metabolism; HIV-1 infection; Pathogenesis; Prognosis; Antioxidant; Free radicals