Micronutrients and infectious diseases: thoughts on integration of mechanistic
approaches into micronutrient research.
Taylor CE; Higgs ES
Journal of Infectious Diseases 2000 Sep;182 Suppl 1:S1-4
of field and laboratory studies provide convincing evidence that micronutrient
deficiencies contribute to the mortality and morbidity of infectious diseases.
Despite encouraging results in large trials, understanding the mechanisms
by which micronutrients contribute to the outcome of the encounter between
an individual and an infectious agent requires additional hypothesis-driven
research. Presumably, such understanding should lead to translational
studies with targeted nutritional therapy. Although these mechanistic
studies are varied and complex, they must be done systematically and should
include examination of the mechanisms by which micronutrients affect host-pathogen
interactions, development of appropriate animal models and reliable methods
for the assessment of micronutrient levels, and translation of the results
of basic research findings into clinical studies. Moving the frontiers
of micronutrient research from the laboratory to the field will be challenging.
However, sound scientific research should lead toward better human health.