Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Selenium Deficiency is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19

Version 1 : Received: 5 July 2020 / Approved: 7 July 2020 / Online: 7 July 2020 (08:15:45 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Moghaddam, A.; Heller, R.A.; Sun, Q.; Seelig, J.; Cherkezov, A.; Seibert, L.; Hackler, J.; Seemann, P.; Diegmann, J.; Pilz, M.; Bachmann, M.; Minich, W.B.; Schomburg, L. Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2098. Moghaddam, A.; Heller, R.A.; Sun, Q.; Seelig, J.; Cherkezov, A.; Seibert, L.; Hackler, J.; Seemann, P.; Diegmann, J.; Pilz, M.; Bachmann, M.; Minich, W.B.; Schomburg, L. Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2098.

Journal reference: Nutrients 2020, 12, 2098
DOI: 10.3390/nu12072098

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 infections underlie the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and are causative for a high death toll particularly among elderly subjects and those with comorbidities. Selenium (Se) is an essential trace element of high importance for human health and particularly for a well-balanced immune response. Mortality risk from severe disease like sepsis or polytrauma is inversely related to Se status. We hypothesized that this relation also applies to COVID-19. Serum samples (n=166) from COVID-19 patients (n=33) were collected consecutively and analysed for total Se by X-ray fluorescence and selenoprotein P (SELENOP) by a validated ELISA. Both biomarkers showed the expected strong correlation (r=0.7758, p<0.001), pointing to an insufficient Se status for optimal selenoprotein expression. In comparison to reference data from a European cross sectional analysis (EPIC, n=1915), the patients showed a pronounced deficit in total serum Se (mean±SD, 50.8±15.7 vs. 84.4±23.4 µg/L) and SELENOP (3.0±1.4 vs. 4.3±1.0 mg/L). A Se status below the 2.5th percentile of the reference population, i.e., [Se] < 45.7 µg/L and [SELENOP] < 2.56 mg/L was present in 43.4% and 39.2% of COVID samples, respectively. The Se status was significantly higher in samples from surviving COVID patients as compared to non-survivors (Se; 53.3±16.2 vs. 40.8±8.1 µg/L, SELENOP; 3.3±1.3 vs. 2.1±0.9 mg/L). We conclude that Se status analysis in COVID patients provides diagnostic information. However, causality remains unknown due to the observational nature of this study. Nevertheless, the findings strengthen the notion on a relevant role of Se for COVID convalescence, and support the discussion on adjuvant Se supplementation in severely diseased and Se-deficient patients.

Subject Areas

trace element; inflammation; selenoprotein P; micronutrient; COVID-19

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