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
Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
23.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.07.2018 | Information Technology
23.07.2018 | Health and Medicine