International Journal of Preventive Medicine

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 92-

Can zinc be an option for prevention of corona virus disease 2019?


Jamshid Roozbeh1, Mohammad Hossein Imanieh2, Soheil Ashkani Esfahani3,  
1 Shiraz Nephro-Urology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
2 Gastroenterohepatology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, United States

Correspondence Address:
Mohammad Hossein Imanieh
Gastroenterohepatology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz
Iran




How to cite this article:
Roozbeh J, Imanieh MH, Esfahani SA. Can zinc be an option for prevention of corona virus disease 2019?.Int J Prev Med 2020;11:92-92


How to cite this URL:
Roozbeh J, Imanieh MH, Esfahani SA. Can zinc be an option for prevention of corona virus disease 2019?. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Dec 1 ];11:92-92
Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2020/11/1/92/289262


Full Text



Dear Editor,

The pandemic outbreak of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) claiming thousands of lives since the last months of 2019, globally, has changed the face of the world, visions and expectations from the medical facilities, and up to now there is no definite treatment or vaccine for the infection.[1] Hence, the prompt action and most effective protocol against the disease is supportive care and educating the population for effective hygienic considerations.

Regarding our experience as well as reports from other countries involved in treatment of patients infected with COVID-19, these individuals showed normal or decreased number of white blood cells and lymphocytopenia. Besides, significant increases were seen in the levels of different types of cytokines and chemokines.[2] Zinc (Zn) is a crucial micronutrient that plays an important role in maintaining efficient functions of the immune system. Based on emerging evidence, it is becoming obvious that Zn can increase cytotoxicity of natural killer cells and increase numbers of cytotoxic T cells.[2],[3] Thus, Zn deficiency is assumed to be an important cause of immune system dysfunction and its related morbidities throughout the world.[3] In addition, gene expression in different stages of cell proliferation, survival, and response of T lymphocytes can be altered by even moderate Zn deficiency.[3] Antibody-and cell-mediated immune responses are also compromised in Zn depriving patients resulting in more severe infections.[4] Moreover, high-risk subjects, including the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, are the most prone ones to zinc deficiency as well as infections like COVID-19.[4] Previously, it was demonstrated in an experimental study that Zn has therapeutic effects against another human pathogen, coronavirus induced severe acute respiratory syndrome. Zn inhibits replication of corona virus in cell culture by blocking RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity.[5] Conclusively, individuals who have inadequate zinc intake are prone to various types of infections and we assume that zinc supplementation may provide an advantage in lowering the rate of severe infections and can be a potential candidate for add-on therapy in COVID-19 infection.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): situation report - 149 June 2020. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/situation-reports/20200617-covid-19-sitrep-149.pdf?sfvrsn=3b3137b0_4.
2Guo YR, Cao QD, Hong ZS, Tan YY, Chen S-D, Jin HJ, et al. The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak–An update on the status. Mil Med Res 2020;7:1-10.
3Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. A review of micronutrients and the immune system–Working in harmony to reduce the risk of infection. Nutrients 2020;12:236.
4Knoell DL, Liu M-J. Impact of zinc metabolism on innate immune function in the setting of sepsis. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2010;80:271-7.
5Te Velthuis AJ, van den Worm SH, Sims AC, Baric RS, Snijder EJ, van Hemert MJ. Zn2 + inhibits coronavirus and arterivirus RNA polymerase activityin vitro and zinc ionophores block the replication of these viruses in cell culture. PLoS Pathog 2010;6:e1001176.