57 Iron Isotope and Malaria Incorporation

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Iron is a common trace element with widespread applications in industry, energy and health. Its stable isotopes, including 57 iron, are useful for studies of human nutrition and metabolic tracers to identify genetic iron control mechanisms in organisms. The 57 iron isotope can be used to measure and track changes in iron absorption, utilization and excretion in response to interventions for anemia and in physiological studies of iron homeostasis.

The d57 Fe isotope composition of sedimentary pyrite, determined from redox fractionation in the soil matrix, can reveal important information about mineralization and redox processes at the centimeter scale. In sedimentary pyrite, the d57 Fe signature tends to be light ( -3.5%0) compared to the bulk d57Fe composition of the soil matrix, and this characteristic can provide insight into the redox dynamics in which the pyrite formed.

Recent high d57Fe values in 2.7 Ga sedimentary pyrite from the Belingwe Basin, Zambia, were linked to the progressive oxygenation of Earth’s surface environments and evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis (Rouxel et al., 2005; Johnson et al., 2008). However, the d57Fe signal can also be attributed to the diagenetic processes that occur in sediment diagenesis and may reflect redox reactions between sulfate and iron.

In this study, we compared the ability of serum hepcidin to predict erythrocyte incorporation of 57Fe and 58Fe administered on days 1 and 15 respectively in anemic Gambian children who presented with malaria and cleared P falciparum parasitemia after a 3-day course of antimalarial treatment (3DQ). Serum hepcidin and sTfR-F index (an indicator of iron status) were significantly and positively correlated with the d15 incorporation of 57Fe and pronounced use efficiency of 58Fe. In contrast, hepcidin and CRP were not significant predictors of d1 erythrocyte 57Fe incorporation and were weakly negatively correlated with d15 58Fe erythrocyte incorporation.

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