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Nutrients 2017, 9(4), 343; doi:10.3390/nu9040343

Copper to Zinc Ratio as Disease Biomarker in Neonates with Early-Onset Congenital Infections

Institute for Experimental Endocrinology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, CVK, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
Department of Neonatology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Augustenburger Platz 1, CVK, D-13353 Berlin, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 28 March 2017 / Published: 30 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrients, Infectious and Inflammatory Diseases)
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Copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) are essential trace elements for regular development. Acute infections alter their metabolism, while deficiencies increase infection risks. A prospective observational case-control study was conducted with infected (n = 21) and control (n = 23) term and preterm newborns. We analyzed trace element concentrations by X-ray fluorescence, and ceruloplasmin (CP) by Western blot. Median concentration of Cu at birth (day 1) was 522.8 [387.1–679.7] μg/L, and Zn was 1642.4 ± 438.1 μg/L. Cu and Zn correlated positively with gestational age in control newborns. Cu increased in infected newborns from day 1 to day 3. CP correlated positively to Cu levels at birth in both groups and on day 3 in the group of infected neonates. The Cu/Zn ratio was relatively high in infected newborns. Interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations on day 1 were unrelated to Cu, Zn, or the Cu/Zn ratio, whereas C-reactive protein (CRP) levels on day 3 correlated positively to the Cu/Zn -ratio at both day 1 and day 3. We conclude that infections affect the trace element homeostasis in newborns: serum Zn is reduced, while Cu and CP are increased. The Cu/Zn ratio combines both alterations, independent of gestational age. It may, thus, constitute a meaningful diagnostic biomarker for early-onset infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: ceruloplasmin; preterm; C reactive protein; interleukin-6; micronutrient. ceruloplasmin; preterm; C reactive protein; interleukin-6; micronutrient.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Wisniewska, M.; Cremer, M.; Wiehe, L.; Becker, N.-P.; Rijntjes, E.; Martitz, J.; Renko, K.; Bührer, C.; Schomburg, L. Copper to Zinc Ratio as Disease Biomarker in Neonates with Early-Onset Congenital Infections. Nutrients 2017, 9, 343.

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