Vitamin A supplementation enhances specific IgG antibody levels and
total lymphocyte numbers while improving morbidity in measles.
The Pediatric infectious disease journal; VOL: 11 (3); p. 203-9
Coutsoudis A; Kiepiela P; Coovadia HM; Broughton M
The effect of vitamin A supplementation on selected factors of immunity
was tested in African children (ages 4 to 24 months with complicated
measles) during a randomized double-blind intervention trial. Placebo
(n = 31) and treated groups (n = 29) had similar baseline characteristics.
The supplemented group had significant reductions in morbidity (expressed
as integrated morbidity scores) during the acute (Day 8, P = 0.006) and
chronic (Day 42, P = 0.02; 6 months; P = 0.002) phases. In the treated
group there was an increase in total number of lymphocytes (Day 42, P
= 0.05) and measles IgG antibody concentrations (Day 8, P = 0.02), both
of which have consistently been previously shown to correlate more closely
with outcome in measles than other immunologic, clinical and radiologic
factors. Interleukin 2 and plasma complement values were unaffected by
vitamin A supplementation. These findings reinforce results from animal
studies that show that the pathways of vitamin A activity in decreasing
morbidity and mortality are partly founded on selective immunopotentiation.