First author Courtney D. Kozul and colleagues reported that mice exposed to 100 parts per billion (ppb) of arsenic in drinking water had altered immune responses, higher viral titers and more severe symptoms in response to influenza A infection compared with infected mice that were not exposed to arsenic.
“In this study, we show that chronic low-dose arsenic exposure can profoundly alter the response to influenza A (H1N1) infection [in mice],” wrote Kozul and colleagues. “Understanding the role of arsenic in response to such viral challenges [in humans] will be important in the overall assessment of the public health risk.”
Flu is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. An estimated 5-15% of the global population will contract influenza annually, resulting in over 3-5 million hospitalizations and 250,000-500,000 deaths.
Worldwide, millions of people drink water containing arsenic at levels above the U.S. EPA’s guideline of 10 ppb. In certain areas in the U.S. West, Midwest, Southwest and Northeast, people drinking contaminated well water may be exposed to arsenic levels ranging from 50 to 90 ppb or even higher. In some Asian countries, levels may exceed 3,000 ppb.
Alterations in response to repeated lung infection such as those observed by Kozul and colleagues may also contribute to other chronic illnesses, such as bronchiectasis, which is elevated by arsenic exposure in epidemiologic studies. Chronic exposure to arsenic has been associated with many diseases, including lung, liver, skin, kidney and bladder cancer; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; and reproductive and developmental defects.
“With the current concern about the H1N1/influenza A virus and the potential effect of H1N1 spreading in areas where arsenic exposure is common, this study is both extremely timely and highly relevant,” said EHP editor-in-chief Hugh A. Tilson, PhD. “It is expected that the effects of arsenic exposure on the immune response to viral infection are complex, and therefore it is likely that several mechanisms are contributing to the adverse outcomes observed in the arsenic-exposed mice.”
The article is available free of charge at http://www.ehponline.org/docs/2009/0900911/abstract.html
EHP is published by the NIEHS, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. EHP is an Open Access journal. More information is available online at http://www.ehponline.org/. Brogan & Partners Convergence Marketing handles marketing and public relations for the publication and is responsible for creation and distribution of this press release.
Julie Hayworth-Perman | Newswise Science News
Further reports about: > Bladder cancer > Diabetes > EHP > Environmental Health > H1N1 > Immune cell activation > Influenza > Influenza A > NIEHS > arsenic > arsenic exposure > arsenic in drinking water > bronchiectasis > cardiovascular disease > chronic illnesses > contaminated well water > environmental risk > immune response > respiratory infection
Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine
14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2017 | Life Sciences