Background: The consequence of trace elements deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease progression and mortality. This study examined the association between high concentrations of chromium (Cr) and manganese (Mn) in scalp hair, blood, and urine and opportunistic infections in hospitalized patients with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
Methods: The study was performed on 62 male HIV+ patients (HIV-1) from different cities of Pakistan. The patients were divided in two groups according to secondary infections (tuberculosis, diarrhea, or high fever). The biological samples (scalp hair, blood and urine) were collected from AIDS patients, and for comparative study 120 healthy subjects (males) of same age group (31 - 45 years), socio-economic status, localities, and dietary habits were also included. The elements in the biological samples were analyzed by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrophotometry after microwave-assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy of the methodology was checked by using certified reference materials (CRMs) and with the values obtained by conventional wet acid digestion method on the same CRMs.
Results: The results indicated significantly lower concentrations of Cr and Mn in the biological samples (scalp hair, blood, and urine) of male HIV-1 patients, compared with control subjects. It was observed that the lower levels of these trace elements may be predictors for secondary infections in HIV-1 patients. There was a significant decrease in mean values of Cr and Mn in whole blood and scalp hair, whilst higher concentrations were observed in urine samples of the three groups of AIDS patients as compared to a controlled healthy male group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Low Cr and Mn levels may be due to increased Cr and Mn losses. These data present guidance to clinicians and other professional investigating deficiencies of Cr and Mn in biological samples of AIDS patients.