Malnutrition and Immune Response.
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES FREDERICK MD
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There can be no doubt that malnutrition has an adverse impact on immunological functions and can serve to suppress cell-mediated, humoral, and secretory immune competence. While most clinical studies have been performed in patients with generalized forms of malnutrition, immunosuppression has been found to occur with deficiencies of essential single nutrients. Rarely does even a severely malnourished child exhibit the degrees of impairment in any immune function comparable to those experienced in congenital, primary immunodeficiency states. Further, nutritional immunodeficiencies in human beings appear to respond will to dietary therapy, with improvement in some functions becoming evident within a few days of initiating a refeeding program. No entirely satisfactory animal model has yet been developed to replicate human forms of malnutrition. Nevertheless, animal models have considerable potential usefulness for probing the mechanisms of nutritional immunosuppression at the molecular level. Author