Assessing the Serum Levels of Ferritin and Selenium in three Important Infections of Childhood, Compared to a Control Group
The purpose of this study is to evaluate serum levels of selenium and ferritin in acute infections of childhood.
Patients aged 2-15, hospitalized from autumn 2010-2011 in infectious ward of Rasoul-e-Akram hospital were recruited to
the study. Patients with documented diagnosis of GI, RTI, UTI were case groups, who were compared to one control
group, including patients hospitalized in the same hospital in surgery ward without any active infection. Blood samples
were gathered from all patients and ferritin and selenium serum levels were measured in serum specimens. Diagnosis of
the three infections was made by a unique infectious specialist. The mean and standard deviation of serum selenium concentration
of GI, RTI, UTI and control groups were 64.70±21.43 µg/l, 61.60±19.25 µg/l, 66.37±22.11 µg/l and
62.20±22.08 µg/l, respectively without significant differences in serum selenium levels between these groups (P-value
=0.608). The median of serum ferritin levels in GI, RTI, UTI and control groups were 60.05 (48.82-78.01), 62.00 (49.07-
79.35), 60.60 (51.78-79.52) and 58.75 (45.32-76.72), respectively. The difference in ferritin levels between these groups
was statistically significant (P-value <0.001). Compared with the control, the RTI and GI groups had significantly higher
levels (P<0.001); however, the UTI group was not statistically different from the control (P=0.098). None of the children
had ferritin constrictions below 12. As far as selenium and ferritin deficiency is an important issue in developing countries,
it would be valuable to assess the role of micronutrients in infectious diseases, as we may be able to prevent such fatal
infections by micronutrient supplementations.
Keywords: Selenium, ferritin, respiratory tract infections, urinary tract infections.
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