Studies on the Relationship of Vitamin A Deficiency to the Antibody Response to Tetanus Toxoid in the Rat
Morbidity and mortality due to tetanus constitute a very significant public health problem in much of the developing world. Although vaccination with tetanus toxoid has significantly reduced the incidence of tetanus, still nearly 800,000 children per year are estimated to die from this infection.1 Nutritional deficiencies, including that of vitamin A, are most prevalent in some of the geographic areas where tetanus is also most prevalent. A number of clinical and field-based studies have shown that vitamin A deficiency increases the risk of mortality in young children. In several studies conducted in Indonesia, India, and Nepal, supplementation of preschool children with vitamin A has resulted in a reduction in mortality.2 Effects of vitamin A supplementation on morbidity have been more difficult to demonstrate. Evidence consistent with reduced morbidity from respiratory, diarrheal and measles infections has been reported in some studies3–5 but not in others6.
KeywordsAntibody Response Tetanus Toxoid Retinyl Palmitate Retinol Concentration Primary Antibody Response
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