Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2013 Sep;44(5):733-9
Plasmodium vivax infection in humans can relapse and is associated with iron deficiency. The immune response plays an important role in preventing relapse. In this study we analyzed the effect of zinc and vitamin C supplementation on hemoglobin and hematocrit levels and immune response in patients with P. vivax malaria. We measured immune response by examining interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels. Subjects were divided into either treatment or control groups. The treatment group received daily zinc and vitamin C supplementation for 45 days. Compliance with supplement consumption was recorded weekly. After 45 days of supplementation, IFN-gamma and IL-1 levels were remeasured. All study subjects in both groups had normal hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. The hemoglobin levels increased only in the supplementation group (p=0.011), while hematocrit levels increased in both the supplementation (p=0.001) and control (p=0.023) groups. IFN-gamma decreased slightly in the supplementation group, but the change was not significant (p=0.688). IL-10 increased slightly in both the supplementation and the control groups, but the change were not significant (p=0.421 and p=0.556, respectively), suggesting the elevated hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were unrelated to immune response.