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Serum selenium levels in pulmonary tuberculosis levels with and without HIV/AIDS


Selenium is an essential trace element and it plays an important role in immunity.


The present study is to find out the selenium levels in pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) patients with and without HIV infection and compare with healthy control and correlate with Body Mass Index (BMI).

Materials and methods

A cross sectional study was carried out to estimate serum Selenium levels in newly detected, untreated active PTB patients with (N = 30) and without HIV (N = 33), attending to Thoracic medicine department of Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai who satisfied rigid selection criteria. Thirty healthy individuals (family members of the patients) were kept as control. Standard method were adopted to collect early morning fasting blood samples for selenium estimation by AAS (atomic absorption spectrometry) in the Department of Biotechnology, Lady Doak College, Madurai. The study was approved by the Institutional Ethical Committee, and informed consent was obtained from participants.


The range, mean and median of serum Selenium levels in PTB patients with and with HIV coinfection were 16 to 101.7, 66.6, and 69 μg/dl; and 29 to 109, 71.9, and 73 μg/dl respectively. The same in control were 101 to129, 113.1, and 111.6μg/dl respectively. The mean (S.D) BMI status of HIV positive PTB, HIV negative PTB and control were 18 (0.4), 18.5 (0.6) and 19.9 (0.6) respectively. The differences among the group were statistically significant.


The present findings suggest that Selenium status of patients with active pulmonary TB is low when compared with healthy control. Low concentration of serum Selenium as well as wasting was noticed significantly in PTB patients with HIV infection than non HIV subjects. Hence, these cases require nutritional supplements containing selenium.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ramakrishnan, K., Sharma, S.P., Shenbagarathai, R. et al. Serum selenium levels in pulmonary tuberculosis levels with and without HIV/AIDS. Retrovirology 6 (Suppl 2), P76 (2009).

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