Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Suggests Low-Dose Arsenic Compromises Immune Response to Influenza A

22.05.2009
A research article published online May 20 ahead of print in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) suggests that low-dose exposure to arsenic in drinking water may significantly alter components of the immune system and cause a number of changes in the body’s response to respiratory infection caused by influenza A, also known as H1N1.

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.”

Other authors of this paper included Kenneth H. Ely, Richard I. Enelow and Joshua W. Hamilton. This work was funded by the Superfund Basic Research Program of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)/National Institutes of Health.

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 information:
http://www.ehponline.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Foxes in the city: citizen science helps researchers to study urban wildlife
14.12.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

nachricht Machine learning helps predict worldwide plant-conservation priorities
04.12.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

Northwestern discovery tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods

Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material...

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Artificial intelligence meets materials science

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find

19.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>