Evaluation of Zinc and Copper and Immunological Implication in Menstrual Cycle of HIV Infected Females in Nnewi, Nigeria

Nkiruka Rose Ukibe, Solomon Nwabueze Ukibe, Charles Chinedum Onyenekwe, Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku, Anthony Okwy Igwegbe, Ifeanyichukwu Ositadinma Martin, Rebecca C Chukwuanukwu


Zinc and Copper are essential for the immune system and the interaction between reproductive system and immune cells plays important immunoregulatory roles in menstrual cycle of women. It is estimated that nearly 16 million women are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, making up approximately half of all infections. Importantly, the understanding of the burden of HIV/AIDS lies within resource limited areas particularly Sub-Saharan Africa. This was a prospective study designed to evaluate the immunological implication of Zinc and Copper in menstrual cycle of HIV infected females in NAUTH, Nnewi, Nigeria. The study composed of 120 premenopausal females with regular menstrual cycle (between 27-31 days) and aged 15-45 years. 30 were apparently healthy females recruited as Control group while 90 were HIV infected females grouped as HIV stage 1, HIV stage 2 and HIV stage 2 on ART (n=30 respectively). Blood samples were collected at follicular (7th - 13th day) and luteal (21st -23rd day) phases of menstrual cycle after obtaining their informed consent for determination of Zinc, Copper, Interleukin-6, interleukin-4 and TNF? using AAS and ELISA methods. The result showed significantly lower levels of Zn and Cu  with significantly higher levels of IL-6, IL-4 and TNF? in HIV infected females with or without therapy compared to Control at both phases of menstrual cycle (P<0.05). The Zn levels was significantly higher in stage 2 HIV infected females on ART compared to their counterparts not on ART (P<0.05). The significantly lower levels of Zn and Cu with increased levels of cytokines indicate immunosuppression and active inflammatory response in HIV infected females at both phases of menstrual cycle which was improved in the participants who were placed on ART.

Keywords: Copper; Zinc; Immunological Implication; HIV; Menstrual cycle; Reproductive age.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-7181 ISSN (Online)2225-062X

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